Residents defend Hamilton Twp. former trustee Jackie Terwilliger as her replacement steps up

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and state auditors carefully examined Hamilton Township's financial records Wednesday, and tried to track down a missing $2 million.

Meanwhile, the people of Hamilton Township defended their former trustee, Jackie Terwilliger, who was the center of claims of mismanaged money, falsified checks and unauthorized payments.

RELATED: Hamilton Township fiscal officer resigns amid investigation

Her replacement, Ray Warrick, was named at a meeting Wednesday evening.

"We had four candidates last night that we interviewed, we rank them according to what we felt was the most qualified candidate, and tonight we do plan to announce who the top candidate was," Trustee Gene Duvelius said.

He, along with trustees, feel Terwilliger made no intentional mistake in managing the township's funds, but rather, keeping the books was too much for her to handle.

"One account had too much, another account didn't have enough, they weren't properly put in the right places," Duvelius said. "It was just an accounting nightmare for her, we firmly feel the money is still there."

Resident Roger Bingham praised Terwilliger.

"She's always been honest and upfront," he said. "She's been there a long time, she's been voted in many times, so it should tell us something."

Bingham said, "Thirty-four years ago we were a township of 2,500 people with the budget of maybe $50,000. You could budget a checkbook. We are now approaching 25,000 - 30,000 people with almost up to a $20 million budget. It's hard for any one person to do that. We admire what Jackie tried to do, but it just got to be too much for any one person."

State investigators expect to complete their examination of Hamilton Township's books within the next couple months.

 

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