Grafton Township strips supervisor of credit cards

The Grafton Township Board voted Thursday to strip the supervisor’s use of credit and debit cards for township expenses and cancel the cards.

During debate, Supervisor Linda Moore questioned the legality of the move.

The vote was 4-1.

The four trustees who voted to take the cards from Moore argued that she had abused her financial privileges as supervisor.

Moore was the lone vote to retain her use of the cards.

“We’ve operated many, many years without credit cards or debit cards, and our supervisor is misusing these cards, and I’m saying it is time to eliminate them,” Trustee Betty Zirk said.

The action highlights mounting acrimony between the board and Moore, who spent more than $3,800 last month on legal expenses in an ongoing battle with the board over uses of township money.

“Tell me what statute you are applying?” Moore said.

That comment drew a sharp reply from Trustee Rob LaPorta. “After seeing month and month of abuse and excessive charges that you have been doing that we continue to tell you to stop on ... we have the right to do what we are doing now,” LaPorta said, although he never cited a specific law that allows the board to cancel the supervisor’s use of credit and checking accounts.

“We are accountable to do this,” he said.

In April, an appellate judge ordered Grafton Township to pay $20,000 to a computer forensics company hired by the board after the trustees alleged Moore had deleted financial records.

The board’s discontent over Moore’s financial handling of the township continued Thursday. The board voted not to pay certain vendors.

Local governments traditionally review and approve bills without discussion. After a 30-minute discussion over April’s bills, the board voted, 4-1, to not pay 10 vendors, including a $600 payment to police for staffing the annual township meeting.

The four trustees argued the police were an unnecessary expense. Moore was the only one to vote against the measure.

In other business, the board decided to hold a special meeting to discuss its 2013 budget, after the board could not agree on certain adjustments. The meeting will be before the township’s regular meeting in June.