Ten counts of criminal fraud have been brought against the former director of the Walkerton Lincoln Township Public Library.
Scott Klingerman is accused of using more than $40,000 of the library’s money to cover his own personal expenses.
“He (Klingerman) was director for three years and we had no idea,” said former library board member and current library director Traci Stewart.
An audit done by the Indiana State Board of Accounts in July of 2013 first raised serious questions about Klingerman’s spending habits. Only now, some 11 months later, has he been charged with a crime.
The situation appears to show that even trained library professionals can’t judge a book by its cover.
“He’s very friendly, he’s very nice and personable and intelligent and always fun to be around and joking, just a real shock that we were being tricked,” said Stewart.
Scott Klingerman wasn’t some dark, mysterious stranger: He was a 1988 graduate of John Glenn High School who was on the board of directors of the Walkerton Chamber of Commerce.
“He grew up in Walkerton. I graduated high school with him. We were all real shocked and hurt. We thought there was friendship and trust and it’s hard to learn that you've been fooled for years,” said Stewart.
Court documents allege that Klingerman used more than $40,000 of the library’s money to buy things for himself like a health club membership, gasoline, car insurance, and vacation expenses. On the average, Klingerman allegedly stole about $1,000 a month while on the job from May of 2010 to April of 2013.
“I think jail time would be fair,” said Stewart. “I think for the community. They need to see that something will be done and that he will have to pay somehow for what he’s done. He didn’t just hurt the library. He hurt the community. The library runs on taxpayer money so when he lied to us, he lied to everyone.”
Court documents indicate that the government will try to seize any assets or property Klingerman allegedly gained from the fraud scheme.