SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned that Sheriff William Redman put tens of thousands of dollars in DARE funds into his private bank account(s) for more than a decade. From 1997 until 2012, Redman put all of the funds for the program into his private account(s) with no oversight and no records showing how the money was spent. According to figures obtained by RNM through a public records request, it appears nearly $100,000 could have simply disappeared.
REAL News Michiana’s Clifton French uncovered the data while working for ABC57 in 2018, while Redman was running for his first term as Sheriff of the St. Joseph County Police Department. However, the ABC57 News Director at the time, Kelley Dickens, shelved the story for unknown reasons. Redman ended up winning the primary election by less than 20 votes that year.
RNM obtained those records again by requesting the emails and documents sent to Clifton French in 2018.
Redman started with the DARE program for the St. Joseph County Police Department in 1997. He kept all of the funds in his private accounts until February of 2012. According to a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department, Chief Robert Boits discovered Redman was using his personal account for the money in 2012 and demanded Redman start a county account.
How the discovery of the management of the money occured is hotly contested by several sources within the Sheriff’s Department. Some say the discovery was made through a standard audit. Others tell RNM that Boits made the discovery by hearing it from other deputies or staff, reprimanded Redman and forced him to create the county account to avoid bad publicity. Chief Boits cannot be questioned because he passed away in 2013.
According to DARE bank statements starting in February of 2012, the first deposits into the account were a $2,000 grant reimbursement plus 6 different donation deposits for approximately $2,600. By 2018, there was nearly $48,000 in the account. That means the program had an average surplus of approximately $8,000. Over a 13 year period, if extrapolated out with the same average surplus, Redman would have approximately $104,000 in DARE funds in his private bank account(s). All of it is unaccounted for. There is no account for how much money was taken in or how much money was spent and what that money was spent on.
Clifton French was told in 2018 there are no records from the time Redman was holding the money in his own account(s). RNM is still calling on Sheriff Redman to share his account information to show how and where the DARE money was spent as most banks retain records for longer than the 7-year retention period required by law.
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“It’s very troublesome to me.” Kevin McGowan, Republican candidate for the St. Joseph County Sheriff, said. “If this is true, it’s a big disappointment to St. Joseph County as well as the Sheriff’s Department. Transparency and accountability are important when in comes to public safety and its leaders. I hope that promises of transparency from the current administration can play out and we will learn what exactly happened so anything that is amiss can be dealt with accordingly.”
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