Times-Tribune Staff Report
A state audit of the 2011 Whitley County Clerk’s Fee Account found no problems with the financial statement, but did include a comment about a payment made to a business at which the county clerk’s husband works.
The audit, released Wednesday by Adam H. Edelen, state auditor, commented about $2,775 paid to Blakes Fork Trading Post Company for moving election equipment. It was noted Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz’ husband is associated with that company.
The comment indicated the payment could be a violation of the county’s ethics code and recommended that Schwartz contact the county attorney and the Cumberland Valley Regional Board of Ethics to determine if it was an ethical violation.
In her response to Edelen’s office, Schwartz emphatically denied the alleged violation, saying the claim was made to the Whitley County Fiscal Court.
“It has always been the procedure of our county that the clerk pay the election expense and the court will reimburse because the court does not pay their claims until after their monthly meetings,” Schwartz said in her response, adding that her office will refrain from the practice.
Schwartz’ response included a copy of the invoice from Blakes Fork Trading Post Company dated Nov. 8, 2011. The invoice is marked “Fiscal Court Claim.”
The county clerk’s responsibilities include collecting certain taxes, issuing licenses and maintaining county records in addition to other services. It is funded through statutory fees collected as part of those duties.