Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 4, 2012

Galveston clerk-treasurer resigns

Christine Lewis is facing felony charge in hit-and-run accident.

By Dustin Kass
For the Kokomo Tribune

Galveston — Embattled clerk-treasurer Christine Lewis has submitted her resignation.

Her last day in the position will be Thursday, she told Galveston Town Council members and residents Monday night, according to council President Pat Gunnell. Lewis cited “personal” reasons for the move, Gunnell said.

A phone number for Lewis could not be located.

The town council plans to appoint a deputy clerk-treasurer in her place until county Republican Party leaders name her replacement, officials said.

“We’re just hoping to find someone to get us over the hump,” Gunnell said.

Lewis was charged in September with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class D felony. Police say she hit 21-year-old Trey McCulley as he was crossing Ind. 218 near Walton and fled the scene.

At that time, Lewis had already defeated then-incumbent Clerk-Treasurer Connie Russell by two votes in the Republican Party caucus. She was unopposed in last fall’s general election.

But a petition was circulated asking Lewis not to accept her position Jan. 1.

One of the signatures on it was that of town utilities clerk Vicki Wilson, who then resigned before Lewis took office. Wilson said she had been fielding lots of phone calls about Lewis taking office.

Lewis’ criminal case is still ongoing, with a status conference set for April 26.

But if she was convicted of the felony charge, she would have been unable to continue serving, state officials have said.

That’s no longer relevant with her resignation, and town officials are focused on finding a way to move forward without her.

Gunnell said the town council will meet in executive session Thursday night to discuss appointing a deputy clerk-treasurer. She said that new person should be selected by Monday “at the latest.”

Meanwhile, Republican Party officials will start searching for her permanent replacement.

Lewis had submitted a letter of resignation to Kay Weatherwax, Cass County Republican Party chairwoman, on March 22.

Weatherwax said a steering committee of Galveston residents would be formed to find someone to be the town’s next clerk-treasurer. By law, that appointment must be made within 30 days of Lewis’ last day, Weatherwax said.