William Levin, an at-large Libertarian candidate for the City-County Council and one of the founding members of the Re-Legalize Indiana Political Action Committee, has removed the treasurer for Friends of Bill Levin and the PAC following his discovery that several hundred dollars in campaign funds had been spent for unauthorized purposes by the committees' treasurer, Holly Rivers. Levin filed a form with the Marion Co. Board of Elections today formally removing Rivers as campaign treasurer.
In a letter to the Board of Elections, Levin said he discovered a possible misuse of funds by Rivers on September 29. The following day he said he confirmed the misuse of the funds and relieved Rivers of her responsibilities as his campaign treasurer and the PAC's treasurer. Levin has filed a criminal complaint with an IMPD fraud detective who is investigating the allegations. Levin closed the bank accounts and reopened new accounts with the remaining funds. "I am ashamed and sickened that this has happened," Levin wrote. "It most certainly shall never happen again."
Increasingly, campaign committees are finding themselves the victim of fraud by those entrusted with managing campaign funds. Last month, U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein sued a former campaign consultant she claims "stole millions" from her campaign committee after the FBI arrested the consultant for stealing more than $670,000 from a California Assembly member's campaign committee she was managing. The Indiana Democratic Party and the Senate Republican Majority Committee have both been the victims of persons with authority over funds misappropriating large sums of money for their own personal use and the culprits were turned over to appropriate law enforcement authority for prosecution. There were reports a couple of years ago of a campaign worker for the Marion Co. Republican Party misappropriating campaign funds but party officials would never confirm that the theft of funds had taken place.