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Health worker is 6th official charged with misconduct in Indiana county

Health Department employee arrested

BOONVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A problem-plagued county government in southern Indiana added another woe to its list Friday as the state police arrested an employee of the Health Department who is a former county commissioner.

Marlin Weisheit, 72, of Boonville, on Friday was charged with a felony count of official misconduct, and two felony counts of conversion.

Weisheit became at least the sixth person in the Warrick County government to be arrested since December and charged with official misconduct.

His arrest came about a week after the Warrick County Board of Health suspended health officer Dr. Rick Yeager without a public explanation, according to news reports and the county coroner. As a result, the Warrick County Health Department cannot currently issue birth or death certificates.

Special Prosecutor Samantha Hurst from Perry County filed the charges against Weisheit, Indiana State Police said in a news release issued Friday afternoon. Weisheit was arrested Friday afternoon at the Warrick County jail, and he was released after posting bond.

A state police investigation says that the county paid Weisheit before he became a county employee, and that he improperly distributed Health Department funds after being hired as a county employee.

In December, the county commissioners ruled that the Health Department needed a change of direction, structure and leadership, and fired administrator Aaron Franz and three members of the county Board of Health. That action was upheld in April by Warrick County Judge Pro Tempore Robert R. Aylsworth.

State police say that the commissioners later, on Dec. 26, named Weisheit as the interim administrator. Four days earlier, state police say, the commissioners and Weisheit had signed a contract agreeing he was an independent contractor and not a Warrick County employee.

“Indiana law states the health officer for Warrick County is responsible for appointing the Administrator of the Health Department,” not the commissioners, the state police’s news release said.

The health officer denied Weisheit the interim administrator job.

The police investigation found that the county commissioners, with the consent of the health officer, eventually hired Weisheit as a Health Department employee. He started April 23.

However, the county paid Weisheit $9,600 from Health Department funds for hours worked from Jan. 2 to Feb. 29, before he was hired as a county employee.

Also, state police believe, Weisheit between April 26 and May 2 used the health administrator’s stamp without proper authority to transfer funds within the Health Department’s budget to pay a lease agreement with Liberty Concepts Inc. That’s listed online as a commercial real estate landlord in Boonville.

The state police news release said, “The investigation revealed the health administrator would not authorize payments to Liberty from the health department due to the contract being between the commissioners and Liberty Concepts, INC.”

Friday’s arrest came less than five months after all three Warrick County commissioners — Robert H. Johnson Jr., 62; Terry Phillippe, 54; and Dan Saylor, 59 — were arrested on official misconduct and false informing charges. Phillippe is also accused of perjury. The three Republicans have been scheduled for a status conference on June 28 in Warrick Superior Court 2 before Judge Pro Tempore Aylsworth.

In reelection bids, Johnson and Saylor lost their primaries in May. Phillippe’s district is not on the 2024 ballot.

The commissioners’ arrests stemmed from an investigation of misappropriated funds at the Warrick County Animal Control run by Danielle Barnes. Barnes was charged with a felony count of being a corrupt business influence, two felony counts of official misconduct, a felony charge of ghost employment, and two misdemeanor counts of theft. She’s scheduled for a status conference on Aug. 23 in Warrick Superior Court 2 before Aylsworth.

Another Animal Control employee, Susan Broshears, also was arrested in December, along with pet groomer Jamie Hubiak, in connection to what’s been described as a kickback scheme.

Broshers was charged with a felony count of being a corrupt business influence, two felony counts of official misconduct, a felony count of ghost employment, and two misdemeanor counts of theft.

Hubiak was charged with a felony count of being a corrupt business influence, and two misdemeanor counts of theft.

The commissioners’ arrests also were connected to their instruction to the Health Department to reopen several restaurants and a pool after they had been closed for failed health inspections. They also are accused of firing the supervisor when he refused, and after he aided the police investigation of Animal Control. The state police investigation found that the owners of the pool and restaurants were allegedly friends and business associates of the commissioners.

Warrick County, which has about 65,800 residents, sits east of Evansville along the Ohio River.