SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Instead of spending his time to provide documents and evidence regarding the unknown status of nearly 13 years of DARE funds, St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman decided to attack the journalist who exposed the financial discrepancies. The journalist who exposed the potential corruption and misuse of public money is also a highly decorated combat veteran of the Iraq War.
In a comment on his campaign website, Sheriff Redman referred to the award-winning journalist as an “ultra-conservative political blogger.” He then went on to claim he was never responsible for maintaining records or managing the money from DARE for the approximately two decades he was involved. These claims fly in the face of the comments given by an attorney from the previous administration in 2018.
“The government DARE account was created in early 2012 — no records exist about DARE finances before 2012 that are in our custody.” Eric Tamashasky wrote to Clifton French in 2018. “(Chief Robert) Boits had an account created via the Auditor’s Office for DARE funds and advised Sgt. Redman to turn over all DARE money he had to be deposited and maintained in the county financial system. Sgt. Redman did so.”
According to DARE bank statements when the account was started 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. There is no item listed as a transfer from the other account. 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. 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.
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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.
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, instead of slandering and attacking a journalist who is simply asking questions.
RNM will not be intimidated by anyone, including the head of our county’s law enforcement, and we stand by our reporting of corruption throughout Michiana.
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