Trustee charged $36K to home improvement stores — presumably for renovations

EDITOR’S Observe: This is a single of various studies on court docket-purchased release of Fairfield Township’s credit rating card documents and what these credit history card statements expose. On the other hand, Trustee Taletha Coles did not switch in excess of the receipts for the credit score credit card purchases and there are missing statements..

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Fairfield Township Trustee Taletha Coles chalked up her $113,259 in credit rating card fees more than 3 many years to her renovations at the township’s workplace on Wabash Avenue, but only $36,691.51 can be instantly tied to property advancement purchases.

A Journal & Courier’s ongoing critique of the court docket-ordered launch of the township’s credit card statements confirmed that amongst January 2019 and July 2021, Coles billed $36,691.51 to neighborhood residence enhancement suppliers, as effectively as to Just Blinds, Most effective Acquire, and Cork Floors.

Taletha Coles, Fairfield Township trustee, during a Fairfield Township budget proposal meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Lafayette.

Taletha Coles, Fairfield Township trustee, for the duration of a Fairfield Township spending plan proposal conference, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Lafayette.

Nonetheless, there are numerous months that do not have credit history card statements, and there are statements that are only two pages. The files reveal there are quite a few missing webpages that were being not furnished to the public.

The Journal & Courier emailed Coles for remark about the paying, which include more than $2,000 of purchases at Ideal Acquire in March 2020. Coles did not respond.

In May 2019, Coles billed $984 to Just Blinds, presumably for the township’s office environment. She also billed extra than $1,300 that month to National Business enterprise Home furniture. In June 2019, Coles charged $2,652.59 to Cork Floors and $700 to Kirklands in Lafayette.

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The credit score card statements reveal other expenses to shops that may possibly thrust the renovation totals even bigger, but without the receipts, which the J&C asked for, there is certainly no way to get a far more precise accounting.

The Indiana Point out Law enforcement and the Point out Board of Accounts are investigating the township’s funds considering that Coles became trustee in January 2019.

Coles was working for re-election Tuesday in the Democratic most important. She confronted levels of competition from Fairfield Township Board users Rocky Hession and Monica Casanova.

Republican Fairfield Township trustee applicant April O’Brien is working unopposed and will deal with the Democratic most important winner.

In the earlier, Coles blamed her superior credit score card paying out — including regular buys at the Lafayette Sam’s Club — on the renovations. The Journal & Courier did not contain any Sam’s Club buys in the complete claimed right now mainly because there are not indications that the Sam’s Club buys had everything to do with renovations.

Expending: Fairfield Township trustee charged $41K on credit rating card in 2021

In its Sept. 17, 2021, request to inspect general public documents, The Journal & Courier requested to examine credit history card receipts as properly as credit history card statements.

The Journal & Courier filed a lawsuit on March 17, 2022, for Coles to develop the requested documents. Coles provided some regular credit card statements, but there are pages missing and months missing from those people statements.

Reach Ron Wilkins at [email protected]. Stick to on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

This report originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Lafayette trustee billed $36K to house enhancement outlets