W/R: Ghost practice spooks county

Allegations by a state that some Delaware County supervision workers are guilty of spook practice have stirred a county to deposit thousands of dollars in a new time time system.

But a new system, that will need some employees to time in and out with their fingerprints, won’t even be used for a supervision offices where many county employees work and where past spook practice allegations have been focused.

First, a word about spook employment. Four words, actually: It’s tough to prove. The state sums it adult as “work on anything outward your central pursuit duties,” though it can occur by several scenarios, including supervision workers who work on tasks not in their pursuit description, leave early or don’t come to work during all.

In Muncie and Delaware County, while there’s prolonged been an arrogance that some supervision workers are guilty of spook employment, it’s frequency if ever been charged, even in cases that contained elements of spook employment.

In 1997, when internal officials, including a county commissioner, were charged with crimes formed on a state military review of allegations reported in news articles created by a authors of this column, a charges were bribery, burglary and racketeering, though not spook employment.

Prosecutors here have prolonged hold that spook practice is really tough to infer absent a flawless time-keeping system. And even then, it’s flattering tough. Ghost practice allegations that are politically explosive, like those opposite county voter registration officer Ashley Nichols — a daughter of longtime Democratic Party figure Phil Nichols — have mostly been singular to gripes and disgruntlement and haven’t led to charges. The hands of officials, even a ones who wanted to take action, were tied.

So county officials were perturbed a few months behind when “special investigators” from a Indiana State Board of Accounts told them they could be hold accountable if they didn’t purify adult a spook practice occurring in county government.

(Of course, a formidable partial of that is that each inaugurated central in internal supervision is a aristocrat of his or her possess palace and not responsible to other inaugurated officials. In other words, a county commissioners are not a trainer of a county auditor.)

Months later, County Auditor Steve Craycraft and a commissioners have staid on a resolution dictated to assistance forestall spook practice and keep some-more accurate lane of time off, including vacation time and ill time.

The new system, that will go into use after a initial of a year, will cost $20,000-plus and engage biometric sign-ins and sign-outs regulating fingerprints.

One hitch, W/R discovered: The new complement will be used usually for Delaware County jail personnel, EMS and 911 workers and highway dialect personnel.

Not enclosed for a foreseeable future: Any of a offices or hundreds of employees in a Delaware County Building nor many of those in a Justice Center.

In other words, many county employees — including some in offices that were expected partial of a spook practice allegations — will not be lonesome by a some-more harsh system.

If we were wondering how severely anyone was holding a matter: Andy Shank, executive of special investigations for a State Board of Accounts, on Friday reliable to W/R that a state had perceived allegations of spook employment.

“I will contend we have perceived opposite allegations of opposite offices in Delaware County that have allegations of spook practice going on,” Shank said. “I can't contend what we’re digging into.”

He remarkable that a allegations now underneath care “were not specific adequate to pierce on, to start an particular review on.”

When indiscretion is found, a State Board of Accounts can ask governments and people for compensation or suggest that a internal prosecutor record rapist charges.

Contact Keith Roysdon during 765-213-5828 and kroysdon@muncie.gannett.com. Contact Douglas Walker during 765-213-5851 and dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

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