The Indiana General Assembly has closed for the season. Not much that interests me, so I decided to take a look at one particular bill signed into law in 2012 and are we complying?
IC 4-2-6-16 or the Nepotism Rule went into effect July 1, 2012. In other words, local government employees are not allowed to hire a relative (s) or grant contracts to a relative (s), etc. Sounds simple enough, right? If it is confusing, check out this simple explanation outlining the law.
Don’t Hire a Relative from the in.gov website outlines the bill in layman’s terms.
In Delaware County, we don’t have issues with nepotism (tongue-in-cheek). Nevertheless, local officials scrambled to get an ordinance written, signed and sealed. But first, some hiring had to be done.
Delaware County Recorder, Jane Lasater, hired her daughter Melanie Marshall right before the law took effect. According to the Walker/Roysdon report June 24, 2012, “more than a few elected officials” contacted the Muncie newspaper about the recent hire. Lasater denied the hiring of her daughter, citing she had already been employed in the Recorder’s office.
The newspaper failed to report who complained.
Rumors of hiring still making the rounds. Take for example, the City Clerk’s office. Is it true City Clerk Phyllis Reagon hired her grand-daughter? This would be in direct violation of Indiana law, and the Delaware County and City of Muncie ordinances.
You are the hiring manager. You may not hire a relative. Any person within an agency who knowingly participates in a violation of this chapter is subject to the penalties set forth in section 12 of this chapter.
One can’t help but wonder, why Lasater received so much attention from the elected officials and the newspaper, but silence from both elected officials and the local paper on Phyllis Reagon. Things that make you go hmm.
Hiring your relative is not just bad practice, in Indiana it’s against the law.
In other related news, former Muncie City clerk was fired for embezzling $11,000.00 from the Muncie Clerk’s Office. She is waiting trial, but Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed charges on behalf of the State of Indiana. $10,000.00 has been recovered through the city’s insurance.
State Board of Accounts audit of Muncie City Clerk’s Office can be found here.
Considerable amount of time has passed, and procedures haven’t been updated to comply with the audit. Apparently a new cash register has been purchased which none of the employees know how to use.
Clearing things up, hiring relatives and embezzling money is illegal in the State of Indiana.