WHITESTOWN, Ind. -- Whitestown Clerk Treasurer Amanda Andrews is facing accusations she’s not showing up for work at town hall while still collecting a paycheck from taxpayers, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.
Andrews’ office has been dark for weeks, the clerk treasurer parking spot sits empty, and her town issued car hasn’t moved in weeks, according to town council member Dawn Semmler.
For weeks, a sign was posted on her office door saying “shadowing other clerks,” according to Semmler.
“Typically when you do business with another town, you take one of our town vehicles,” said Semmler.
The sign was changed to say “vacation until Dec 7th” but it’s unclear when.
Amanda Andrews collects a $47,500 annual salary for the elected position, and is responsible for the accounting, collection, and disbursement of funds and the town’s financial books.
However, there’s no state law requiring clerk treasurers to work a minimum number of hours.
“State law definitely needs to change,” said Semmler. “If you’re an elected official, you’re supposed to be there for the people who elected you. Being the fastest growing community, we need our clerk treasurer.”
Citizens are also starting to ask questions about Andrews’ absence.
"We have a town clerk that’s being paid not be here, and that just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Cary Bowman, a 20-year resident of Whitestown. “I think she should be accountable to this position she’s elected to.”
Andrews took office in 2012, and taxpayers re-elected her on November 3 to a second term.
The deputy clerk declined to answer Kenney’s questions about when Andrews has been in the office.
Call 6 Investigates did some check and found a possible reason why Andrews may not be around town hall during office hours, which are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The clerk treasurer recently accepted another full time job 40 miles away at the Subaru plant in Lafayette.
A spokesperson for Subaru confirmed Andrews started the purchasing job on October 27th, a week before the election.
In an email to Kenney, Andrews said she is trying to pay off student loans.
“I have had many requests in the last four years, and have fulfilled every single one of them,” said Andrews in an email to Call 6 Investigates. “It’s not easy working 24/7 on holidays, nights, and weekends. Trying to take this vacation has been a nightmare. I can't be away from my desk for a vacation without a few people getting upset."
Kenney asked Andrews to provide a list of clerks shadowed and the dates of those meetings.
“When I get back to work on Monday, I will ask the other clerks if I can use their names,” said Andrews in an email to Kenney. “A lot of clerks have other jobs to make ends meet. I am not under the council and I work for the taxpayer. I take that very seriously.”
Andrews called the concerns a “personal thing” from a small group of people.
“I was voted in again by wonderful people who know that all of the elected officials in Whitestown have full time jobs,” said Andrews. “I love the people of my town; I just have to pay my student loans somehow.”
Semmler, who has three jobs herself, said she has no problem with Andrews taking a second job, but feels it should not conflict with town hall office hours.
“You make those second jobs after hours,” said Semmler. “Why are we paying her $48,000 a year if she’s not here when the people need her and when the council needs her?”
Semmler said the town almost missed an important budget deadline because of Andrews’ absence, and only made the deadline because they were notified by their accountant.
“We’re also still sitting on an open invoice from the IRS and that includes penalties and interest,” said Semmler.
The State Board of Accounts plans to audit Whitestown, a community of 5,000 people in Boone County, in 2016.
“It will be a priority,” said Andy Shank, director of special investigations for the State Board of Accounts.