LaPorte Co. Claims Former Jail Matron Wrongly Received Pension

The wife of a former LaPorte County sheriff may be required to pay the county more than $34,000 for a falsely-claimed pension. The Sheriff’s Merit Board has filed suit, claiming Lauren Arnold was not a law enforcement officer and therefore ineligible to collect a pension. Arnold was the matron for the LaPorte County Jail from 1999 to 2006 while her husband, Jim, was sheriff.

The merit board says Arnold did not graduate from the Indiana Law Enforcement academy and chose not to participate in the pension program in 1999. However, they say in 2004 she sought the pension that she claimed had been owed to her for the previous five years, and in 2006 she was awarded $20,950 in retroactive payments.

The merit board wrote Arnold in July asking her to reimburse the monies, but her attorney refused and claims the benefits were properly paid. Jim Arnold indicated he and his wife will defend themselves against the legal action.