Former official failed to file documents with state

FORTVILLE — For her last six months in office, former Fortville clerk-treasurer Marcie Stafford failed to submit financial reports detailing the town’s expenses, leaving officials in the dark about account balances and forcing department heads to delay projects, town representatives said this week as they finished reconciling the books.

Stafford’s successor, Sherry Durbin, who took office in January, recently reconciled monthly financial reports for 2016, allowing local officials to resume plans, town manager Joe Renner said.

At a recent town council meeting, Durbin told town council members she plans to deliver detailed financial documents on a monthly basis.

After Stafford, who took office in 2012, lost her bid for re-election last spring to Sherry Durbin, she rarely worked from her town office and kept poor communication with town officials in the months that followed, officials say.

While closing out her final weeks in office, Stafford failed to file a request for additional funding from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finances, leaving town officials to hold off work on a road project, Renner said.

Town officials weren’t able to resubmit the request until this week, when the state office began accepting applications to approve additional funding, said Beth Marsh, an independent financial consultant hired by the town to assist with accounting duties.

In early December, Stafford was arrested by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department after being accused of threatening a local family. By state law, elected officials charged with crimes may remain in office unless convicted. She faces four Level 6 felony charges of intimidation.

Greenfield attorney Ariel Schoen, who was appointed to represent Stafford, recently asked a judge to order a psychological evaluation to determine in Stafford is fit to stand trial. In the request, Schoen argues that Stafford has been mentally unstable for years, according to court documents.

Schoen is asking that Stafford be examined by two or three psychiatrists or doctors to determine if she is mentally fit to face a jury, according to the motion. The request is still pending.

Stafford served as Fortville’s clerk-treasurer from 2012 to the end of 2015. Her term in office was marked by frequent criticism from town officials, who cited issues with the town’s books.

Stafford did not return calls for comment.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or