CALL 6: Yorktown clerk could soon be ousted from office

Little used law could remove elected official
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 22:33:38-04

YORKTOWN – The Yorktown clerk-treasurer could soon be removed from office following a historic trial Friday.

The Delaware County prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Beth Neff on July 12 in an attempt to oust her from office.

An Indiana law dating back to 1909 says public officials who fail to perform their duties be removed from office, but if successful, this would likely be the second time in history a prosecutor has taken that step against an elected official.

Judge Marianne Vorhees heard arguments Friday from prosecutors and Neff’s attorney.

The state’s lawsuit alleges Neff has refused or neglected, on numerous occasions, to perform her duties as clerk-treasurer including balancing the town’s financial books.

Prosecutors argued Neff also failed to follow the direction of the Indiana State Board of Accounts and, despite being cited in audits, continued to post errors to town financial accounts and records.

Monthly water and sewer bond interest transfers have not been recorded in a timely manner, which amounted to $127,472.35 in errors to date that have not been corrected on the town’s records, according to the lawsuit.

Following the trial Friday, Judge Vorhees will now take the arguments under advisement and make a decision on whether to remove Neff from her elected position.

Neff’s attorney, Jeffrey Marc Heinzmann of Fishers, said his client should not be removed from office.

“It’s our position that Neff’s actions do not rise to the level of impeachment,” said Heinzmann. “We’re hopeful the court will see things that way. We look forward to hearing the decision.”

Neff has been in office since 2007, records show.

Call 6 Investigates is aware of only one time where the 1909 law has been successfully used.

A judge removed Ashland Township Trustee Sandra Norman from office in 2013 following accusations she failed to file annual reports, as required by law.

RELATED Where is Whitestown's clerk treasurer? | Whitestown Town Council to pick new clerk treasurer in 2016 | Township Trustee Sandra Norman faces first-of-its-kind charges