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Audit alleges misuse of Indianapolis' police pension plans

IMPD officer injured in crash
Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 18:06:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Two new audit reports by the Indiana State Board of Accounts revealed hundreds of thousands of dollars were misused by Indianapolis' police pension plan.

The first case alleges the city continued to deposit monthly pension checks into the bank account of the widow of a police officer in Indianapolis. From May 2004 until July 2019, the audit alleges nearly $285,900 worth of pension benefits were deposited into the widow's bank account.

The benefits should have ceased in May 2004 when the former police officer died, according to the audit.

In another audit, more than $245,500 were deposited into the bank account until June 2019 of a widow after their spouse, a retired police officer in Indianapolis, died in January 2007.

The benefits should have ceased in January 2007 when their spouse died.

The audit reports cite insufficient internal controls that were due to a lack of oversight and monitoring of the police pension plan.

"The City did not have internal controls in place to verify existence and eligibility of the pensioners, such as reviewing and monitoring obituaries on a periodic basis or determining some other method of verification," the reports said. "The City was relying upon the families of the pensioners and surviving spouses to notify them of individuals who passed away."

The reports included letters from Indianapolis City Controller Ken L. Clark who said the city acknowledges there "was a deficiency in internal records."

"While there were processes in place including; pension board staff periodically checking obituaries, these processes were not sufficient, in timely identifying the pensioner’s surviving spouse or dependents death," Clark wrote. "Once the City became aware of the issue, we took immediate action to ensure the appropriate processes and controls were implemented to continuously monitor our pensioners status. These actions were taken prior to any notification of SBOA findings."

"At this time there is pending court action and discussion is not appropriate until there is resolution," IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said in an email.

A spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said they are looking into this matter.

WRTV has reached out to the Indianapolis Office of Corporation Counsel for a comment and is awaiting a response.

WRTV Investigates Reporter Kara Kenney contributed to this report.