News
Former billing clerk enters guilty plea

By Joseph Slacian
jslacian@thepaperofwabash.com

A former billing clerk at the City of Wabash’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has changed her plea in Wabash County Circuit Court.


The former clerk, Angelina Monroe, 39, withdrew her not guilty plea and entered a guilty plea to one count of theft on Monday afternoon, Oct. 1. In exchange for the guilty plea, charges of official misconduct, corrupt business influence and a second theft charge would be dropped.


Under the agreement, which was taken under advisement by Circuit Court Judge Robert McCallen III, Monroe would face between two and four years in the Indiana Department of Corrections.


Monroe was charged with taking more than $150,000 in payments from the Wastewater Treatment Plant over nearly a four-year period.


Under terms of the agreement, Monroe has agreed to make restitutions to the city and the state. In addition, the agreement also doesn’t absolve her of any civil action which the city, state or State Board of Accounts may pursue against her.


A special investigation by the Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBOA) in 2017 into the City of Wabash’s Wastewater Billing Department has found $152,127.54 unaccounted for, according to a report issued by the SBOA.


“The department cannot account for collections credited to customer accounts totaling $152,127.54,” according to the 10-page report. “These collections were entered in the department’s computer system in 112 batches assigned to 94 different collection dates from September 5, 2013, to May 9, 2017. None of the batches are included in the Department’s daily Cash Entry Batch Lists, and none of the collections in those batches were ever remitted to the office of the Clerk Treasurer, recorded in the in the City’s fund ledger, or deposited in the bank.”


According to the report, the missing “batches” were allegedly recorded on software operated by Monroe.


The report also indicated internal control deficiencies within the department.


“The department had two employees,” the report reads. “These employees had the same title, the same salary, and shared the same duties and responsibilities equally. Except for approving bi-weekly timesheets, there was no supervisory oversight and review of the activities of the department. Due to the lack of segregation of duties and supervisory review, officials were not able to prevent or detect in a timely manner the failure to deposit collections.

“The lack of necessary input controls allowed discrepancies between collections posted to customers’ accounts and collections deposited to the bank to go unnoticed.”
Monroe was arrested in February 2018.
A sentencing report was ordered. However, no sentencing date was set during the hearing.
 

Posted on 2018 Oct 02