Chesterton Tribune



State Police clear former auditor Bob Wichlinski

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A police investigation has exonerated former Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski after the Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBOA) said that equipment bought on a county credit card during his administration went missing.

After deadline on Thursday, Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel announced that, following his referral of the matter to the Indiana State Police for “investigative follow-up,” detectives concluded “that there is no evidence to indicate any wrongdoing and no chain of custody linking Wichlinski to the equipment.”

“The SBOA’s assignment of liability to Wichlinski,” Gensel added, “is based solely upon his being department head during the time (the equipment) was purchased.”

According to a report issued by the SBOA in September 2016, several pieces of computer equipment--a computer, a memory card, two software packages, three printers, and a brief case--were purchased by the Auditor’s Office on a county credit card while Wichlinski was in office. In an audit conducted of the Auditor’s Office for the period Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2014, the SBOA was unable to locate that equipment.

The SBOA subsequently asked Wichlinski to reimburse the county the cost of the equipment, totaling $2,038.22.

With the exception of these particular equipment purchases, the SBOA did note, “The record and accountability for cash and other assets are satisfactory to the best of our knowledge and belief.”

Wichlinski, a Republican, served a four-year term as Auditor from 2011-14. He ran for re-election in 2014 but was defeated by Democrat Vicki Urbanik, who just began the third year of her own four-year term.


Posted 1/20/2017




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