"At this point, there's really nothing to say. How about that. Good-bye," Michalski, a Democrat, said by phone Friday morning from his office in New Carlisle.
According to an audit of the township's finances by the State Board of Accounts, someone with access to the township's debit card withdrew more than $1,600 from ATMs at Blue Chip and Horseshoe casinos in northwest Indiana and Mystic Hills Casino in Prior Lake, Minn., just outside Minneapolis.
The withdrawals were made on six separate occasions between Dec. 31, 2009, and Nov. 14, 2011, according to the report. Two of the withdrawals, totaling $600, were made on the same day — March 31, 2010 — at Blue Chip Casino.
Someone altered the corresponding bank statements in an apparent attempt to conceal the transactions, the report states. And no evidence was provided to substantiate that the money was used to cover legitimate township expenses.
The report also documents unsubstantiated assistance payments made by the township to various parties, including at least one town of New Carlisle employee, totaling more than $3,700, as well as other questioned expenses and record and bookkeeping issues in the trustee’s office.
Michalski has since reimbursed the township more than $7,600, including $1,634.74 related to the ATM withdrawals, according to the report. He still owes the state $7,671.20 for additional costs incurred in conducting the audit because of poor or nonexistent records and/or inadequate bookkeeping practices.
The Tribune first reported on the audit online on Thursday. As a matter of course, it has been forwarded by the State Board of Accounts to the attorney general, Greg Zoeller, and St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak, for review.
Lora Bentley, spokeswoman for the prosecutor, told The Tribune on Thursday the office had received the report and would be reviewing it to determine if any laws had been broken.
State Sen. John Broden, chair of the county Democratic Party, also declined to comment on the report Friday. He said he had been out of town and needed time to review the document and to speak to people with greater knowledge of it.
Michalski has served as trustee of Olive Township since 2007. His current term expires at the end of 2014.
Staff writer Erin Blasko: