Frankfort: Former parks superintendent sold animals, kept cash

Frankfort city leaders have released details about what led them to fire former Parks Superintendent Joel Tatum.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 11:54 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 7:02 PM

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) - Frankfort city leaders have released details about what led them to fire former Parks Superintendent Joel Tatum. They said Tatum was keeping hundreds of dollars which he got in part by auctioning animals without authorization or documentation.

As we've previously reported, Tatum was let go in October after an employee reported possible money mishandling to the city.

Frankfort leaders said when they searched Tatum's office, they found more than $1,400 of cash stashed in coffee cans and desk drawers. With help from the State Board of Accounts, they learned some of that was from donations to the city petting zoo. About $400 belonged to a local service club.

They also say he sold animals belonging to the city, in a claim separate from the State Board of Accounts report. However, the State Board of Accounts confirmed he bought animals for the zoo using cash from the donation boxes, and that those revenues and expenses were never documented.

City leaders said when they confiscated the money, Tatum called it his personal cash and "demanded its return."

The State Board of Accounts report says Tatum was "sporadic" in handing over revenues to the city. The report also called out the city for not monitoring certain cash collection points closely enough - namely the zoo, park vending machines, and Christmas in the Park.

A few weeks after the firing, Tatum was replaced by current parks superintendent Travis Sheets.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Kokomo
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Rensselaer
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Fowler
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Williamsport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Crawfordsville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Frankfort
Overcast
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Delphi
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Monticello
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Logansport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Heat and Humidity Return Today.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events