State suing township trustee for missing funds


The state is suing the Jackson Township trustee for more than $10,000 she still owes in funds she misappropriated during the first two years of her time in office.

The lawsuit recently filed against Republican Linda Auleman in Jackson Superior Court I is asking for a judgment of $10,475.31 against her after a special investigation report released June 15, 2021, found she had overpaid herself between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2020.

The total Auleman overpaid herself was $54,603.12 more than the salaries approved and appropriated by the township board for the trustee position during that time. Auleman was elected township during the 2018 general election and took office Jan. 1, 2019.

The state later was able to recover $60,000 from insurance and/or bond coverage related to the special investigation, according to the lawsuit.

During the audit period, Auleman also caused the township to incur additional employer payroll taxes of $4,115.95 because of the salary overpayments, according to the lawsuit. That meant the township suffered a total loss of $58,719.94. The state also billed Auleman $11,756.25 it incurred for additional audit costs. The total owed by Auleman is $70,475.31.

In her response to the state, Auleman attributed the $54,603.12 in overpayments to herself to not being trained properly by the previous clerk.

Before becoming Jackson Township trustee, Auleman spent eight years working in the courthouse in Brownstown as county recorder. Prior to that, she worked in the Jackson Township trustee’s office for six years under Bill Marsh, who she beat in the Republican primary in 2018.

As for being paid for the trustee and clerk positions, Auleman told state investigators her pay was for both positions, but she did not combine the two jobs on one line of the budget.

“I did not combine the two jobs on one line of the budget, therefore, it looks like I overpaid myself,” she said at the time. “I know better now, and it won’t happen again.”

Auleman said the budget makes it look like taxes were understated for the clerk position.

The lawsuit further asks for Auleman to disgorge all ill-gotten gains that she unjustly and wrongfully received and funds diverted from the township and the state as a result of her actions uncovered by the special investigation.

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