Take down Trustee Taletha Coles? Fairfield Twp. Board teeters on law written for this moment
Plus, Salisbury St. lanes close. A second national show at Loeb Stadium. Would-be 4th District candidate can’t go straight to appeal on Indiana’s two-primary law challenge. And, a new Purdue trustee
Thanks to The Arts Federation for sponsoring today’s issue. TAF’s Taste of Tippecanoe, featuring 30 food vendors, live music and more, will be Saturday, June 18, in downtown Lafayette. Discount advance tickets are available now by clicking the link below.
COLES: ‘ARE YOU SAYING I’M NOT DOING MY DUTIES?’ BOARD: YES
With a decision time coming July 1, courtesy of a new state law written specifically with fraught trustee problems like theirs in mind, the Fairfield Township Board wrestled Tuesday night about whether they were really ready for the legal wrangling and expense of trying to oust Trustee Taletha Coles – even if it meant getting here out of the township offices a few months early.
Coles, meanwhile, sat at the table with the board in a Tippecanoe County Public Library conference room, making for a civil, but often tense, meeting.
“Are you saying I’m not doing my duties?” Coles asked at one point. “I don’t know how you feel this is right.”
The conversation came after more than three years of feuds with board members over how Coles ran the township office and how she accounted for – or, in the board’s view, didn’t account for – the money she spent. The township has been the subject of an audit the State Board of Accounts started in August 2021, looking at Coles’ ledgers, vehicle titles, bank statements, death certificates and payroll records, among other things.
It also came three weeks after Indiana State Police investigators raided Fairfield Township properties and Coles’ home, hauling out boxes of files from the township offices on Wabash Avenue and loads of tools and exercise equipment from Coles’ home – some of it the trustee said was township goods she was storing, clearly marked, in her home. As of Friday, an ISP spokesman said there had been no arrests or charges in an ongoing criminal investigation.
“Why wouldn’t you want to work with me rather than go through all this?” Coles asked the board.
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