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Hebron Town Hall stock

Hebron Town Hall

HEBRON — Clerk-Treasurer Alan Kirkpatrick should repay the town more than $7,000 for his mistakes, the State Board of Accounts said in its latest audit.

“I was paying, but there’s penalties for paying late, and I didn’t realize the gravity of it, I guess,” Kirkpatrick said Friday.

The town also didn’t pay payroll withholding taxes on time to the appropriate federal and state agencies, the audit said.

Penalties and interest added up to $7,170.97, according to the audit.

Also, the stormwater checking account was $15,474 overdrawn at the end of 2017, the audit said. No fund is allowed to be overdrawn.

Bank statements weren’t reconciled for up to five months in 2017, the audit said.

The town also didn’t make sure employees were paid the correct amount and from the proper fund.

The audit covers Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2017. Kirkpatrick is the third clerk-treasurer in that period, having replaced Fred Siminski on May 23, 2017. Siminski left office for health reasons.

Kirkpatrick said his mistakes resulted from inexperience.

“Basically, the clerk-treasurer has only been a clerk or a treasurer. Well, I had to do both with basically no experience on the financial end,” he said.

“Now it hits me financially,” Kirkpatrick said.

He is seeking legal help to deal with the audit and a consultant’s help to address the reporting and internal control issues mentioned in the audit.

“I walked into office with no knowledge of day-to-day operations, with no formal controls in place, and little or no help from the former clerk-treasurer or deputy,” Kirkpatrick said in a letter to the State Board of Accounts.

“I should have asked for assistance in a timely manner and now realize my error in not doing so,” he wrote.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.