Some Starke County Townships Not In Compliance With Nepotism Law

Starke County Commissioners Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

The Starke County Commissioners this week heard an update on the county’s compliance with the new statewide nepotism guidelines, and Auditor Kay Chaffins says that they have received letters of compliance from several townships. Unfortunately, the county has not received them from North Bend, Washington, Jackson, and Center townships.

Chaffins says that although the state did not given the county much time to comply, the Department of Local Government Finance can still penalize the county for not being in full compliance. The DLGF can choose not to approve the county’s budget for next year, which can cause a myriad of financial problems.

Fortunately, County Attorney Martin Lucas says that the county does have a good record with the DLGF and the fact that the county is encouraging these townships to comply will likely keep the county in the good graces of the DLGF.

Commissioner Dan Bridegroom says that the county must be fully in compliance before Dec. 31 to prevent any budget troubles. Lucas reminded the commissioners that a certified letter could be sent if necessary to Knox, North Judson, and Hamlet informing them that they must sign and return the compliance documentation.

The commissioners will decide at their next meeting on Aug. 6 whether or not to send the certified letters.