STATEHOUSE (May 16, 2019) — Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) imposing tougher penalties on government officials and employees who are convicted of stealing public funds.
Lauer said under the law public servants who steal taxpayer dollars will be subject to reimburse the stolen amount through their pensions, if they cannot pay the amount back themselves. If a person is convicted of stealing public funds, a judge will issue a restitution order to recover the stolen money. Current retirement and disability benefits of the offender’s pension will not be eligible to use in order to repay the money stolen. Previously, an offender could not be required to use their pension to pay off restitution ordered by a judge, even if it would be used to repay stolen public funds.
“This legislation will help protect citizens in the rare case of a bad actor,” Lauer said. “Even if the stolen money has been spent, communities should still be able to get their money back. This new law will help protect local and state taxpayers, and assist in holding officials responsible when theft occurs.”
According to Lauer, this new law will help increase government accountability and deter theft within municipalities.
“The vast majority of public servants are honest, hard-working Hoosiers,” Lauer said. “When public theft occurs, however, the offender may forfeit their pension to help pay back the monies stolen. This law provides an important deterrent to discourage officials violating the public trust."
Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.
State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
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