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Ex-township trustee still owes $1.2 million after stealing from taxpayers

Sandra Norman Arthur convicted in 2013
The Indiana Attorney General’s office is still trying to recoup $1.2 million from the former Ashland Township trustee nearly 10 years after she stole from taxpayers.
Posted at 12:48 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 12:48:34-04

MORGAN COUNTY —The Indiana Attorney General’s office is still trying to recoup $1.2 million from the former Ashland Township trustee nearly 10 years after she stole from taxpayers.

Sandra Norman, who now goes by the name Sandra Arthur, pleaded guilty to theft and official misconduct in 2013 and agreed to pay restitution to the taxpayers she was supposed to serve.

While trustee, Arthur wrote checks to herself, to her boyfriend and her friends using taxpayer money.

In 2018, WRTV Investigates reported Arthur has only paid $2,442 and has a remaining balance of $267,558.

The Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office and probation department made numerous efforts to collect restitution that included payment plans and requiring Arthur to come before the court.

“At the end of the eight-year probationary period, the Court terminated probation unsuccessfully and reduced the restitution owed to a civil judgment,” Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega said in an email to WRTV.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office is seeking the judgment, plus damages and interest, to the tune of $1.2 million.

Molly Craft, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, said the office was able to collect $35,000 from her bond but Arthur still owes more than $1.2 million.

WRTV Investigates is working to reach Arthur for comment.

In 2018, the Ashland Township Trustee Jeanne Walters said their fire department suffered as a result of Arthur’s actions, as well as the taxpayers who did not receive poor relief.

Arthur had “no comment” to say to WRTV Investigates in 2018, which was the same response we received in 2013 from Arthur.

Arthur said she was making close to minimum wage and maintains she has no cable, or internet and doesn’t eat out meals.

However, prosecutors have criticized Arthur for spending more than $400 a month on a vehicle and said she could work more.

Arthur said she’s also suffered from knee and foot problems that have made it difficult to work at times.

Prosecutors said the taxpayers deserve more than what they’re getting.

"The township is a small township and every nickel counts,” former deputy prosecutor Bob Cline said. “This is a part of Morgan County that is very rural very few families and the impact per family is a pretty good size. "

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