(Moores Hill, Ind.) - She pleaded last month to failing to deposit public funds, but the former clerk-treasurer for the Town of Moores Hill says she is not a thief.
Renee Hall was sentenced to probation for the conviction in Dearborn Superior Court II and also paid restitution to the town. Two other charges against her for Official Misconduct and Conversion were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Following her plea, Hall told Eagle 99.3 her only crime was not following Indiana’s public accounting codes.
“My charges were violations of the Indiana code, which I had no clue of and when audited by state Board of Accounts, they then told me of the codes and asked me to pay them back. I did pay them back and learned some Indiana codes in the process. Then I’m arrested for those violations as well,” Hall said in an e-mail.
Those violations and forgetting about $185 thrown in her desk instead of depositing it are what led to Hall’s trouble. The money in the desk was later stolen during a February 2009 break-in at the clerk’s office Hall claims.
“I noticed those monies were gone and along with the rolls of stamps. So I made a police report, but since (leaving the money in the desk) was a violation of an Indiana code, I had to repay that amount,” she said, referring to the Failure to Deposit Public Funds.
The $185 had been in the desk for nearly a year. A State Board of Accounts report said the money had been given to her in March 2009.
Hall, 54, has excuses for several other mishandlings of town money.
She said when taking a trip to Chicago on official business as clerk-treasurer in 2009 she suffered an injury. She later found out her mileage could be covered, but when her husband had to pick her up due to the illness his travel expenses should not have been covered.
“I didn’t know so I repaid that,” Hall said.
She used town money to purchase signs campaign signs in the election which she claims the former town board president told her to. She repaid that money as well.
Hall also received a pay raise in 2008 but was not aware it could not be applied to the same fiscal year it was permitted in.
“These violations were all paid back and then someone decides I was a crook and so I was arrested,” said Hall.
“Politics is funny. I've learned that if someone wants you gone, they will go to any measure to get you gone. Which I fully believe is what happened to me,” Hall said.
Hall was sentenced to three years probation for the conviction on Failure to Deposit Public Funds.