The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office is trying to figure out why money is missing from a cash box.
Sheriff Tom Grills was informed that a locking mechanism was loose when an office employee went to access a cash box. The Versailles Republican reported that the sheriff had the money counted which revealed $296 absent from the cash box.
The money is used for operating funds and other police business.
While police are leaning toward the incident being a clerical error, they are collecting evidence and treating it as a potential crime.
“Anything is likely in this day in age. It is being treated as a criminal investigation until it can be confirmed it is a clerical error,” Ripley County Chief Deputy David Pippin said.
The Sheriff’s Office notified Ripley County Council of the situation.
Pippin said, “We want to maintain transparency with the community and the taxpayers. So we thought it was necessary to report [the missing money]”
An internal investigation ensued and is currently ongoing. Sheriff Grills also contacted the Indiana Board of Accounts who is looking into the matter. Pippen advised that a third party may investigate the incident.
The Board of Accounts told the Sheriff’s Office that they would have to go to council to have the money replaced. Sheriff Grills declined and will use personal funds to compensate for the missing cash.
“It is not coming from taxpayers or the budget. It is coming out of his own pocket,” Chief Deputy Pippin indicated.
As the investigation continues, the Sheriff’s Office is taking precautions and preserving evidence if the incident turns out to be criminal.