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CPA assists city during clerk's leave

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Hardin helps while conducting Milton's annual financial audit

By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Trimble Banner

While the city of Milton is waiting to see what happens with the clerk-treasurer position, Karen Hardin, a certified public account based in Madison, Ind., has been helping to keep the books straight.

Hardin, who is in Milton to conduct the city’s audit for the 2009-10 fiscal year, handed Mayor Denny Jackson and the city commissioners a stack of checks “ready to sign,” intended to pay the city’s monthly bills, and reconciled bank statements to review during the commission’s regular meeting Thursday, June 10.

With help from the city’s remaining office staff – Sue Craig and Donna Martin, Hardin said she’s been helping prepare payroll taxes and the city’s end-of-quarter financial reports.

Those tasks generally are handled by city clerk-treasurer Shannon Hoskins. Hoskins has been on paid leave since May 24.

As of Monday, June 14, city attorney Genon Hensley said it is unclear whether Hoskins will return to the position, which she has held for 10 years. Hensley declined to say why Hoskins was placed on leave, and said the city is continuing to pay her for accrued vacation and sick time.

Hensley and Jackson both said Hoskins has not contacted them, and they have not contacted her, since May 24.

Hensley said she received a letter on June 10 from a Louisville, Ky., law firm stating that one of its attorneys is representing Hoskins. So far, however, no legal action has been filed by Hoskins against the city – or vice versa, Hensley said.

Should Hoskins not contacted the city to either resign or stay on as clerk-treasurer before her vacation and sick pay runs out, Hensley said the city will have to take action.

But, she said, “the [commission] prefers to let [Hoskins] make her own decision.”

Hoskins, whose telephone number listed in the local phone book has been disconnected, declined to comment on the situation during an interview at her home on Friday. She did confirm that she has retained a law firm.

In the meantime, there has been no more information released regarding an investigation being conducted by Kentucky State Police special investigations unit.

Last week, The Banner confirmed investigators from that unit are working on a complaint or complaints received by state Auditor Crit Luallen’s office regarding Milton city offices. However, no specific information as to the nature of the complaint or complaints – or the identity of the complainant – has been released by state officials.