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PERRY COUNTY – Former Cannelton City Schools Superintendent Marion “Al” Chapman could be behind bars soon and on his way back to Perry County.
After a six-month investigation initiated by Indiana State Police, Perry County Prosecutor Rod Acchiardo announced Monday that criminal charges were filed against Chapman. He faces two counts of theft, both Class C felonies, and two counts of official misconduct, Class D felonies.
The alleged thefts and misconduct stem from the alleged taking of $206,688 in excess of his contract – and the expenditure of a $333,333 gift to the school from Dorothy Von Solbring.
Acchiardo said the charges follow the state-police investigation and an audit conducted by the State Board of Accounts that allegedly showed misappropriation of public funds by Chapman while engaged in his official capacity as school superintendent.
Chapman served as superintendent from July 2005 through his firing in January 2012.
“These criminal charges allege gross misappropriation of funds by Mr. Chapman, the prosecution of which will seek some measure of accountability from someone placed in a great position of trust with respect to public funds,” Acchiardo said in a statement. “A betrayal of a public trust is one of the more despicable of crimes that I have to deal with through my office. We strive to maintain the confidence of the public in its public officials. Those who violate the law will be made to answer to the fullest extent permitted under the law. It is not as if the superintendent of schools was not well-paid.”
The prosecutor’s office will request that felony warrants be issued for Chapman by the court and the prosecutor has extended the jurisdictional reach of local law enforcement agencies to permit the arrest and extradition of the defendant regardless of where he may be found in the country.
Chapman is believed to be living in Louisiana.
The criminal charges will also seek restitution of all funds allegedly misappropriated from the public coffers, which will include the cost for the investigation of the alleged misappropriations.
Chapman also faces a civil suit filed in August by the Indiana attorney general’s office.