Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 1, 2009

Clements fired from county position

Representative accused of ‘unauthorized personal use’ of e-mail network

Already facing a tough primary challenge in 2010, State Rep. Jacque Clements, R-38th District, was fired this week from her part-time job in the Clinton County Auditor’s Office.

Clements was terminated Monday by Clinton County commissioners for “unauthorized personal use” of the county’s e-mail network.

Since 2004, the year she was elected Clinton County auditor, Clements sent or forwarded approximately 10,000 e-mails. Of those, some pertained to the county’s decision to switch software companies.

Clements is accused of violating the county’s electronic policy concerning e-mails authored or received by her and allegations of leaking information to Nikish Software Corp., which was contracted with the county to provide software services.

Clements could not be reached for comment.

The allegations say Clements leaked information about an investigation into the New York-based company by state and Clinton County officials.

In 2007, Nikish was awarded a two-year contract to provide software for Clinton County’s property tax preparation and assessment.

Nikish was awarded the contract at Clements’ recommendation, said county attorney Ted Johnson. Clements told county officials that Manatron, which was previously providing the software, wanted $231,000 to upgrade to the new state standard, but that Nikish would do the work for $99,000.

Johnson continued to say that Clements, while serving as county auditor, recommended in an almost campaign-like fashion that the county hire the company.

“The real focus is on the software,” Johnson said. “There are problems we’re facing with the conversion. They never delivered. There were problems from the beginning.”

County officials now want Nikish to transfer the data from their software to Manatron. According to Johnson, the company isn’t cooperating.

He said Nikish was willing to convert the data but wanted the county to pay for the services.

Nikish sent Clinton County a final proposal on April 2 seeking $23,000 for support services; and would provide Flat File extracts for $50,000.

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