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former clerk pleads guilty

Friday, September 22, 2017 15:23 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A former elected official in LaPorte County has agreed to pay back tax dollars she collected from overbilling.

Patricia Arnett is scheduled to be sentenced October 26 if a plea agreement calling for 180 days of home detention and one-year on probation is accepted in LaPorte Circuit Court.

She also agreed to reimburse the town of Kingsford Heights $5,036, less than half of the $12,000 state police estimated she collected for work never performed in 2016.

Arnett after becoming clerk-treasurer that year put down on time cards more hours than what she actually worked, according to court documents.

The suspicions of a co-worker triggered an investigation by Indiana State Police, who confirmed some of the discrepancies on video showing the time she reported for work and left for the day, court documents show.

Also recovered were 20 or more text messages Arnett whenever running late or not reporting for work sent to her deputy clerk-treasurer.

Her time cards on those occasions reflected 8 hours or more of service, police said.