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EXCLUSIVE: Wabash Township Trustee talks the state investigation into her residency

She said she is facing charges of not living in the township as an elected leader, and of theft for stealing wages while allegedly not living in the township.

Posted: Apr 12, 2021 9:23 PM
Updated: Apr 12, 2021 10:52 PM

WABASH TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WLFI) - Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising said she is being investigated by the state for her residency. However, she said this investigation is groundless and is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

We spoke exclusively with Teising two weeks ago where she showed us documents proving where she lives. After that story aired, Indiana State Police contacted News 18 and requested the raw footage from that story for an investigation. When we reached out to Teising about this, she said she was willing to talk again on this issue.

She said this started for her when she and her office staff had reason to believe someone had been in the Wabash Trustee office. She said a file was missing and it appeared that someone had been tracking her movement through her phone.

Teising said when she reported it to police, they told her they couldn't do anything about it because of their investigation against her.

She said she is facing charges of not living in the township as an elected leader, and of theft for stealing wages while allegedly not living in the township. 

"It's frustrating," said Teising.

As we previously reported, Teising said her residency has always been in the township for the duration of her term as trustee. She said that she had taken advantage of being able to work remotely during the pandemic to take her RV and travel to see friends and family. 

She believes this investigation is political.

"I have these Republican men who, I can imagine, they don't exactly love a Bernie Sanders supporting, liberal, single mom with a gay child, feminist. I'm sure they have a real problem with me," she said. "Using taxpayer dollars to investigate, to settle political disputes or because they have a problem with a political party or a person trying to accomplish things in the community is outrageous."

News 18 reached out to Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington with several questions about the case. He said he is not allowed to comment on pending cases and couldn't answer any of those questions.

This investigation started when the Wabash Township Board voted for Teising to resign. They claimed that Teising sold her home in June and moved to Anderson, Indiana, and later Florida. The three board members who voted in favor of the resignation are all from the Democratic party.

We also reached out to Indiana State Police here in Lafayette. Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Piers said in an email, "I am unable to speak about anyone who is or is not a suspect in any ongoing investigation."

When ISP asked News 18 for the raw footage from the previous story, that request did not have any sort of legal backing. Due to journalism ethics and News 18 policy, we will not be turning over any footage to police until they come back with a subpoena.

Several viewers have also wanted to know more about Trustee Teising had done to help people directly during the pandemic. She said that because the township has such a small budget, they are not able to help people directly with financial problems. But she said they set up a system where if someone contacted her office for help, they had a network of community resources, like the United Way, to send people to.

"We estimate that Wabash Township alone helped people connect with $70,000 worth of funds," she said.

Teising said time is getting even closer to running out on getting funding for the fire district. As we previously reported, Teising said she is trying to get signatures of support from the people in the township to create a fire district, which would solve the townships funding problems. Without this source of revenue, Teasing said she is going to have to start laying off the employed firefighters in the department. 

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