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Police arrest ex-fair official

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A former Jennings County Fair Board member has been arrested on theft charges after a two-year investigation.

Amy K. Wllliams, 34, of 1920 Deece Drive, North Vernon, surrendered Friday at the Jennings County Jail, two days after an arrest warrant was issued charging her with 33 counts of theft.

Each charge is classified as a Class D felony, punishable by six months to three years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.

The charges cover August 2009 through May 2012, according to court documents.

While financial records are still being obtained, investigators believe Williams had stolen $40,000 in fair board funds during her three-year-tenure as fair board secretary-treasurer, according to court documents.

Police reports filed last week said those funds might have been used for unauthorized purchases, such as meals, personal utility payments, home improvement items and even tickets to a Disney theme park.

On Aug. 22, 2012, fair board president Rob Stevens and acting board treasurer Marcy Clark reported that they had discovered irregularities in the organization’s bank statements and requested the Indiana State Police to investigate, according to an ISP incident report.

Two days later, four fair board officers, including Stevens and Clark, met privately with ISP detective Rick Rosenberry, according to court documents.

The investigator was told that Williams, who had served as clerk-treasurer since 2009, had been reluctant to provide new board members with the fair board’s complete financial and bank records, Rosenberry’s court narrative states.

Williams would provide new board members with only the fair’s current balance and the amount of select bills, according to the narrative. It also stated Williams urged new board members to close the board’s current bank account and open another at a different bank.

It was several months later that Stevens and Clark were able to get bank statements on their own, which showed unexplained deposits and payouts and records of what appeared to be several personal purchases, the narrative said.

Less than a week after that meeting, Jennings County Prosecutor Alan Marshall confirmed Williams was part of an ISP investigation into missing funds.

Marshall made the confirmation shortly after Jennings County GOP chairman Mark Holwager announced Williams, who had worked 13 years as a full-time deputy clerk in the Jennings County auditor’s office, was dropping out of the race as the Republican candidate for county treasurer. The withdrawal of Williams assured incumbent Democrat Sandy Vance of another four years in office.

Court documents filed last week allege that after discovering she was being investigated, Williams attempted to divert more than $1,800 in property tax receipts through her job at the auditor’s office into the fair board account as a way of covering her tracks.

Williams was released Friday after paying a $1,055 cash bond.

In Jennings Circuit Court on Tuesday, Williams’ attorney waived her right to an initial hearing, according to a court employee.

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