Two Spencer County, Indiana officials have been arrested on charges of theft and misconduct after police say they misused thousands of public dollars.

Sarah L. Frederick, 55, the former Luce Township trustee, and 50-year-old Angela F. Ward, the former township clerk, are accused of overcompensating themselves through mileage claims and using township money to pay for their personal cellphones. According to probable cause affidavits, the women collectively misused more than $12,600 between 2016 and 2018.

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They each face multiple counts of theft as Level 6 felonies, as well as felony charges of official misconduct. Ward has also been charged with obstruction of justice. Indiana State Police arrested the women Friday.

The Indiana State Board of Accounts discovered the alleged discrepancies during a forensic audit of Luce Township funds. The ISP was brought into the investigation in January 2020, police said in a news release.

Aside from the cellphone and mileage accusations, police say Ward also paid herself more than $2,000 to work as Luce’s “recreational supervisor” between 2016 and 2017 – a position for which the township board never approved a salary.

The affidavits also state one of the township’s computers had its hard drive wiped clean around Dec. 27, 2018. According to state records, Ward replaced Frederick as trustee on Dec. 4 of that year.

Both women posted $750 cash bonds. Their initial hearings have been scheduled for Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in Spencer County Circuit Court. There was no attorney information listed for the two women in online court records.

Luce Township is the southwestern-most area of Spencer County and has a population of 2,572. Towns there include Richland City, Hatfield and Eureka.

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