Lafayette Trustee Charges $ 36K to Home Improvement Shops

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of several reports on the court-ordered release of Fairfield Township’s credit card records and what these credit card statements reveal. However, the administrator Taletha Coles did not provide receipts for credit card purchases and account statements are missing.

    LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fairfield Township Trustee Taletha Coles allocated her $113,259 in credit card charges over three years to her renewals at the township office on Wabash Avenue, but only $36,691.51 can be tied directly to home improvement purchases.

    a diary & Courier’s ongoing review of the court-ordered release of the township’s credit card statements showed that between January 2019 and July 2021, Coles charged $36,691.51 to local home improvement stores, as well like Just Blinds, Best Buy and Cork Floors.

    However, there are several months that do not have credit card statements, and there are statements that are only two pages long. The documents indicate that several pages are missing that were not provided to the public.

    The Diary & Courier emailed Coles for comment on spending, including more than $2,000 in purchases at Best Buy in March 2020. Coles did not respond.

    In May 2019, Coles charged Just Blinds $984, presumably for the township office. He also charged more than $1,300 that month from National Business Furniture. In June 2019, Coles collected $2,652.59 from Cork Floors and $700 from Kirklands in Lafayette.

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    Credit card statements indicate other charges to retailers that could further increase renewal totals, but without the receipts, which J&C requested, there is no way to get a more accurate accounting.

    The Indiana State Police and the State Board of Accounts have been investigating the township’s finances since Coles became trustee in January 2019.

    Coles was running for re-election Tuesday in the Democratic primary. He faced competition from Fairfield Township Board members Rocky Hession and Monica Casanova.

    Republican candidate for Fairfield Township Trustee April O’Brien is running unopposed and will face the winner of the Democratic primary.

    In the past, Coles has blamed his high credit card spending on renovations, including regular purchases at Lafayette Sam’s Club. The Diary & Courier did not include any Sam’s Club purchases in today’s total because there is no indication that Sam’s Club purchases had anything to do with renewals.

    Expenses: Fairfield Township Trustee charged $41,000 to credit card in 2021

    In its public record inspection request dated September 17, 2021, The Journal & Messenger requested to inspect credit card receipts as well as credit card statements.

    The Diary & Courier filed a lawsuit on March 17, 2022 for Coles to produce the requested documents. Coles provided some monthly credit card statements, but pages and months are missing from those statements.

    Contact Ron Wilkins at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

    Source: Home Improvement News


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