Starke County Councilwoman Defends Treasurer in Audit

Linda Belork

Starke County Councilwoman, Judy Benninghoff, still believes that the errors reported in the Treasurer’s office by the State Board of Accounts are actually errors in the Auditor’s office. In a release to WKVI, Benninghoff said that is backed up by an official in the State Board of Accounts.

“I called the State Board of Accounts and I spoke to Debbie Gibson, and she told me that the paragraph that was inserted in the Treasurer’s audit had nothing to do with the Treasurer,” said Benninghoff. “That pertained only to the Auditor. So, where it says that ‘beginning in March 2010 and continuing through 2011, there was a failure to post the entries pertaining to the remittance of various payroll withholdings’, that was true. That withholding fund is with the Auditor’s office, not in the Treasurer’s office.”

Benninghoff said she can’t understand why officials here won’t admit the errors from the Auditor’s office.

“The Commissioners, all of them, Dan Bridegroom, Kathy Norem and Jennifer Davis and Council President Mark Smith and Auditor Kay Chaffins, why are they so unwilling to say where the errors were?”

Benninghoff also believes that removing Linda Belork as the County Treasurer on August 11th was illegal.

“Everything they’ve done so far is illegal and they don’t get to upsurge the voters in this county. I mean, I may not like Dan Bridegroom being a Commissioner either, but I can’t do anything about it because he’s an elected official just like I am. The Commissioners can’t say, ‘Well, I don’t like Mrs. Belork for whatever reason and we’re going to remove her from office’. They can’t do that.”

Benninghoff said that Belork being her sister has nothing to do with her defense of the Treasurer. She said there’s been something wrong with this matter all along.

“There has to be a reason why all this stuff is trying to be hidden and I just want to say I personally think something stinks in Starke County.”

Next up is the suit brought against Linda Belork and the Bonding Company. That case has been venued from Starke County to Jasper County. The Plaintiff in that case is the Starke County Commissioners.