ISP: County Clerk Rita Glenn upheld her elected duty in ballot investigation

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:42 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - An Indiana State Police investigation into a months-long debate over the duties performed by St. Joseph County Clerk Rita Glenn has cleared the official of tampering allegations.

According to court documents, Democratic County Clerk Rita Glenn upheld her duties as an elected official after a Republican keyholder, Ben Horvath, didn’t show up the day before a Primary election to process ballots.

The evidence shows a reasonable belief that Glenn knowingly acted under exigent circumstances, in good faith, to fairly and efficiently perform the duties imposed upon her office in a timely manner by attempting to seek out a Republican to open the door to process the ballots.

The investigation highlights that Glenn sent several emails to different Republican officials trying to contact Ben Horvath, who was unreachable at the time. Glenn then obtained a spare Republican key from Election Clerk Penny Stratton, who was in possession of spare keys for both party locks throughout the 2022 primary absentee voting period.

Glenn was then joined by an employee of the Clerk’s office, Helen Jojo, who self-identified to Glenn as a Republican, and they went to unlock the door together.

Once Glenn was able to get into contact with Horvath over text, he was apologetic to Glenn, explaining that he had been in a job interview. “Texting with Kim, @ a job interview but she can come pick up key & have a break at 10:15 …..sorry did not know it was urgent,” the texts read.

The investigation goes on to say that Horvath “violated the duty imposed on him by IC 3-11-10-10 as an election board member by failing to appear or communicate a designee, and thus bears responsibility for creating the exigent circumstances then present and existing.”

The credible and admissible evidence is not sufficient to support a reasonable belief that there exists probable cause, or to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal offense has occurred. As such, the special prosecutor appointed in the case will not file criminal charges.

Read the full investigation results below: