EDITOR’S NOTE: That is one of a number of stories on court-ordered launch of Fairfield Township’s bank card data and what these bank card statements reveal. Nonetheless, Trustee Taletha Coles didn’t flip over the receipts for the credit score bank card purchases and there are lacking statements..
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Fairfield Township Trustee Taletha Coles chalked up her $113,259 in bank card fees over three years to her renovations on the township’s workplace on Wabash Avenue, however solely $36,691.51 will be straight tied to residence enchancment purchases.
A Journal & Courier’s ongoing evaluate of the court-ordered launch of the township’s bank card statements confirmed that between January 2019 and July 2021, Coles charged $36,691.51 to native residence enchancment shops, in addition to to Simply Blinds, Finest Purchase, and Cork Flooring.
Nonetheless, there are a number of months that shouldn’t have bank card statements, and there are statements which are solely two pages. The paperwork point out there are a number of lacking pages that weren’t offered to the general public.
The Journal & Courier emailed Coles for remark concerning the spending, together with greater than $2,000 of purchases at Finest Purchase in March 2020. Coles didn’t reply.
In Might 2019, Coles charged $984 to Simply Blinds, presumably for the township’s workplace. She additionally charged greater than $1,300 that month to Nationwide Enterprise Furnishings. In June 2019, Coles charged $2,652.59 to Cork Flooring and $700 to Kirklands in Lafayette.
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The bank card statements point out different fees to retailers that may push the renovation totals even increased, however with out the receipts, which the J&C requested, there is not any solution to get a extra correct accounting.
The Indiana State Police and the State Board of Accounts are investigating the township’s finances since Coles grew to become trustee in January 2019.
Coles was operating for re-election Tuesday within the Democratic major. She confronted competitors from Fairfield Township Board members Rocky Hession and Monica Casanova.
Republican Fairfield Township trustee candidate April O’Brien is operating unopposed and can face the Democratic major winner.
Previously, Coles blamed her excessive bank card spending — together with common purchases on the Lafayette Sam’s Membership — on the renovations. The Journal & Courier didn’t embody any Sam’s Membership purchases within the whole reported immediately as a result of there usually are not indications that the Sam’s Membership purchases had something to do with renovations.
In its Sept. 17, 2021, request to examine public paperwork, The Journal & Courier requested to examine bank card receipts in addition to bank card statements.
The Journal & Courier filed a lawsuit on March 17, 2022, for Coles to provide the requested paperwork. Coles offered some month-to-month bank card statements, however there are pages lacking and months lacking from these statements.
Attain Ron Wilkins at [email protected]. Comply with on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.