The Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County Board voted 8-2 yesterday to have Jennie Carter remain as its Coalition Coordinator at least until an audit of the organization is completed. Two of the board members, Leo Smith and Clint Norem, voted no and Smith said he felt Carter should be suspended until the audit is received to show the community that the organization was transparent.
Another member, Diane Koenig, who made the motion, said she was of the opinion that because of the Double Dare event coming up, Carter was needed to plan and coordinate the activities.
On another agenda item, the Board unanimously voted to establish a three-person finance committee.
“All check signing privileges and debit card expenditures for Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County will be the responsibility of this committee,” said Board President, Judy Jelinek. “Pastor George Heyboer is the Treasurer for Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County and his signature will remain with these accounts. The only other person to have check signing status will be the Chairman, Chris Ross. These two signatures will be required for all checks. The Coordinator will no longer have check signing abilities with any Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County funds.”
Jelinek said it was important that the new committee take over immediately.
“I want to put this into effect today so that all of the check signing abilities are taken away from our Coordinator,” she stated.
The committee will oversee the quarterly reports to the state offices of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, which is now a part of the Indiana State Board of Health to oversee tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
The committee will also make itself available if called upon by the Starke County Auditor, County Commissioners, and County Council members.
Carter has been in the news recently after admitting to checking account irregularities involving Starke County Tourism and Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County.