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Trish Smith, Son Settle with State for $10k
August 1, 2007 - With a payment of $10,000, a former local school administrator and her son have reached a settlement with the state over claims they improperly took more than three times that amount in grant funds from a Henry County nonprofit agency.
According to an agency spokesperson, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General received a $10,000 check July 6 on behalf of Trish Smith, former curriculum director at the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corp., and her son, Clint Childress. In exchange for the payment, the state has agreed to release the pair from any liability for more than $20,000 in additional funds the State Board of Accounts claimed they owed ARIES/Henry County LCC, a nonprofit that had employed them.
In an audit report issued in December 2005, the SBA found that Smith, a former program coordinator for the nonprofit, had been overpaid for her work, received undocumented compensation, and had been improperly reimbursed for expenses involving travel, meals, cell phone use and other personal items. Based on the SBA's report, the IAG sent Smith a letter in January 2006 demanding she repay $22,496.40.
As for Childress, the SBA's audit report said he had been paid by the nonprofit in 2003 and 2004 to develop a website and do other work, but had failed to complete these tasks. The IAG sent him a letter at the same time the one was issued to his mother demanding he repay $10,208.34.
According to the terms of the agreement reached with the state, $8,000 of the $10,000 payment is to settle any claims against Smith, while the remaining $2,000 is with respect to Childress. The settlement agreement says the mother and son deny any liability and that the payment "is not an admission of liability" on their part.
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