State Wins $252K Judgment Against Insurance Company, Former L'burg Employee

A judge agrees with the State of Indiana that the City of Lawrenceburg's crime insurance policy provided must pay up after a former clerk-treasurer's office employee stole.

File photo

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - An insurance company has been ordered by a judge to pay the City of Lawrenceburg for the crimes of a former clerk-treasurer’s office employee.

Teresa Bruening was fire from the Lawrenceburg Clerk-Treasurer’s office in 2013. Then a deputy in the clerk’s office, she stole more than $40,000 by issuing herself duplicate payroll checks and extra payments over a 13-month period.

An Indiana State Board of Accounts audit completed in 2017 determined that wasn’t all Bruening cost the city. She was responsible for process payroll withholdings from other city employees which were supposed to go to the employees union pension fund. However, the payments were submitted late, resulting in $138,737 in liquidated damages and $72,742 in penalties and interest.

Bruening pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court in 2014.

The cost of the SBOA investigation totaled more than $22,000.

Now, a judgment has been levied against the company which provided two crime insurance policies to the City of Lawrenceburg. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Thursday his office won a civil case against Ohio Casualty Insurance Company to recover $224,690 of the monies misappropriated by Bruening.

A news release from Hill states that in the civil case, Ohio Casualty claimed that its policies did not cover Bruening’s actions. Further, it claimed that even if its policies were applicable, too much time had elapsed since the misappropriation for it to be held liable. 

Dearborn Superior Court did not agree with Ohio Casualty and found the policies at issue to cover Bruening’s actions and entered judgment in favor of the state.

“We must always hold accountable those who illegally siphon money for themselves from the public treasury,” Attorney General Hill said. “Our office will continue seeking to recoup taxpayer dollars when public funds have been misappropriated.”

The state first sued Ohio Casualty Insurance and Bruening in Dearborn Superior Court II in 2017 seeking to recover the money under the insurance policies.

According to the July 8, 2019 order from Judge Sally A. McLaughlin, Bruening had personally repaid $27,441.27 to the city as of July 3, 2017, which was offset from the overall judgment of $252,131.35.

RELATED STORIES:

State Audit: Former City Employee Owes Lawrenceburg $274K

More from Local News


Events

  • DIY Saturday the Year of Stones and Crystals

    2022 is the Year of Stones and Crystals with Carisa Bunten of Seventh Street Gifts. The first program of the year will focus on the stone garnet- the traditional birthstone of January. It also is the stone of commitment. Learn more about this deeply hued semi-precious stone. To receive a stone you must register. You will receive an email when your stone is ready for pick up. Supplies limited. Then watch a video to learn more about garnet on the LPLD YouTube channel starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. Register: www.lpld.lib.in.us/calendar. Adults. Free. You may need to register by phone while the library district switches to a new online reservation system.

    at Lawrenceburg Public Library District
  • Oak Heritage Conservancy Jan 22 – Trail Building at Riverview Nature Preserve

    Date: January 22, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm If you would like to learn how to build a trail by helping to create a trail at one of our preserves, then come on out! Please register at Eventbrite so we know how many will be there and, if it rains, we know who to contact if we have to postpone. Thanks! This event is free, but please RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/215004533347 More details: This month’s Nature Volunteer Day is at Riverview Nature Preserve in Hanover, Indiana. Our tasks for this day will be to begin building trails. Please wear appropriate shoes, hat, and clothing. Bring your own work gloves and bottle of water. We will be able to refill our water bottles. Bug spray with DEET will be available as well. We will start at 1:00 pm and end by 3:00 pm. You can park at in the drive and along the street at 1100 S Riverview Drive. In the event of high winds or other inclement weather that creates an environment not conducive for building trails, we will postpone the work day to a later date. Feel free to bring a snack or lunch to enjoy.

    at Riverview Nature Preserve
  • Strengthening Family Program for Parents and Youth 10-14

    The Strengthening Families Program is a 7 week program. The sessions consist of the first hour when parents/caregivers and youth meet separately with facilitators. Facilitators lead guided discussions with parents, focusing on improving family interactions. Youth participate in games and activities that teach them how to get along with peers, siblings, and parents/caregivers. During the second hour, parents/caregivers and youth meet as a family. Families bond by participating in activities and projects that develop communication and problem-solving skills. Families learn to help youth deal with peer pressure, improve communication skills, solve problems individually and as a family, and how to better enjoy time together.

    at Dearborn Adult Center

Ripley County Community Foundation Welcomes New Interns

The foundation’s internship program seeks to engage local young people into the work of the Community Foundation.

Frye: Putting Hoosier Families, Workers First

House Bill 1002 would be the largest tax cut package in state history if signed into law.

South Dearborn T-Shirt Sales Will Help Support Hill-Gabbard No Shave February

The fundraising event will culminate at the Lawrenceburg vs. South Dearborn boys basketball game on Feb. 18.

South Dearborn 7th, 8th Grade Basketball Capture SEI Tournament Titles

The 7th grade team finished the season with an 18-0 record.

Local Sports Report - January 20, 2021

The East Central Lady Trojans clinched at least a share of the EIAC Girls Basketball Championship with a win on Senior Night.

Local Sports Report - January 19, 2022

Just a couple games in high school hoops on Wednesday, including a big EIAC matchup between EC and SD.

On Air

Craig Morgan Little Bit of Life 3:31
Don Williams Lord, I Hope This Day is Good 3:27
Alan Jackson Chasing That Neon Rainbow 3:24
Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde Never Wanted To Be That Girl 3:20