WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - West Lafayette At-Large City Councilman James Blanco is calling for Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising's resignation. Trustee Teising said she is looking to take legal action against the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor.
In a written statement sent to News 18, Councilman Blanco said he has "witnessed controversy after controversy concerning increasingly erratic and harmful behavior" of Trustee Teising.
He voiced concern for how she has allegedly treated employees of the township including former Fire Chief Ed Ward and former officer worker Maxwell Starkey. Both Ward and Starkey shared their stories of working with Trustee Teising with News 18.
Councilman Blanco said that the state filing 20 charges for theft of wages against Trustee Teising is the final nail in the coffin for him.
Read his full statement here:
"As an elected official residing in Wabash Township, I feel compelled to make the following statement on behalf of the constituents I represent and serve:
Over the past several months, I have witnessed controversy after controversy concerning increasingly erratic and harmful behavior of our trustee towards the community at large. The trustee fired the township fire chief without the sufficient notice required under Indiana law. Chief Ward and his family deserve our support as they challenge this abuse of power. The trustee’s moves to close the Wabash Township Fire Department are concerning, and not in the interests of either the City of West Lafayette or Wabash Township. Her treatment of staff, paid and volunteer alike, is a poor reflection of my progressive values and those of our community. Her treatment of Maxwell Starkey in particular is unacceptable.
Furthermore, I have also witnessed need for aid grow dramatically in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory. The township board set aside thousands of dollars in aid that remained dormant because the trustee would not disperse it. Many of my constituents felt real economic pain because of her inaction.
Any of these actions on its own calls into question whether her continued service as trustee is in the best interests of our community and her constituents. The concern only grows with the news that she has been indicted on 20 counts of theft of salary, and that she has been absent from the community in a time of great need. Given all of this, it is clear that she cannot effectively serve her constituents. As such, I ask that Ms. Teising tender her resignation as Wabash Township Trustee."
Trustee Teising said she is interviewing lawyers about a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington.
"This misuse of public funds for political purposes is disgusting and he should be held accountable," she said in an email sent to News 18. "I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens."
As we previously reported, Trustee Teising has claimed from the beginning her innocence against accusations that she did not live in the township during most of the year of 2020.
Despite all the calls for her resignation, Trustee Teising previously told News 18: "Lots of things in life are hard, but that doesn't mean I'm going to quit. I never quit, I keep fighting. I'm going to keep fighting for the people who put me in office, I'm going to make sure we get done what we set out to get done in Wabash Township."