SBA: Commissioner Ellerman Failed to Disclose Conflict of Interest

A special compliance report filed by the State Board of Accounts cites an elected Knox County official with a conflict of interest involving his personal business.

The report says that In 2017, Commissioner Tim Ellerman allegedly didn’t update his original disclosure forms when his business performed work as a subcontractor on a county road.

The contract was approved to be paid by all three county commissioners, including Ellerman.

Minutes from the Board of County Commissioners and County Council did not mention accepting Ellerman’s conflict of interest disclosure before final action on the contract.

Paul Joyce an examiner for the State Board of Accounts states the disclosure was not filed in timely manner with the state, or filed at all with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Road repair work was performed on a county road in October 2017 at a cost of $28,775. The contracted vendor used Ellerman’s construction company to perform part or all of the road repair work.

The review cited Indiana code that a public servant who has an interest in a contract or purchase connected with actions by their governing body commits conflict of interest, a level 6 felony.

While no disciplinary recommendations were made by the state board of accounts, they point to internal control weaknesses allowing for small purchases under $50,000 to be made without a policy, and weaknesses which contributed to Ellerman’s ability to perform repair work on a county road out of compliance with Indiana code.