Last month the Marshall County Election Board found that Stan Klotz, candidate for Marshall County Commissioner on the Republican ticket in the May Primary had a campaign finance violation.  The violation authorizes the imposition of a civil penalty for the transgression which was determined to be the comingling of campaign finance funds with his personal funds. The Election Board then send their findings to Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman for prosecutorial review. 

The corresponding Indiana Code designates it as a Class B misdemeanor to commingle committee funds with personal funds and it is punishable by a maximum sentence of 180 days incarceration and a $1,000 fine. 

Chipman’s review said, “The two-fold question now becomes: Did Mr. Klotz commingle the funds in plain, conscious, and unjustifiable disregard of the harm that might result, and the disregard involves a substantial deviation from acceptable standards of conduct?”  The prosecutor stated that Mr. Klotz’s comments during the hearing and quoted by the media that he was unaware the commingling was wrong, he now knows it was in error and amended the financial report and expressed remorse.

The second part of the question was more problematic: does the disregard of the harm involve a substantial deviation from acceptable standards of conduct?  Chipman said that answer was found in the public record of Klotz’s comments and by the unanimous vote of the Election Board’s own findings where they fined him $500. 

Prosecutor Nelson Chipman’s review resulted in the following, “In conclusion, based upon the totality of circumstances, including the public hearing on the violation, Mr. Klotz’s sincere public expressions of remorse and acceptance of responsibility, and the imposition of a $500 civil penalty, no further useful purpose would be served in pursuing a misdemeanor conviction.  Under the limited facts of this case, the $500 civil penalty is deemed sufficiently punitive to Mr. Klotz and an effective deterrent to others.  Consequently, no criminal charge will be filed by this office for the conduct addressed by Marshall County Election Board Order 2022-01.”