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AG Curtis Hill wins court victory that will help state recover diverted or misappropriated funds

first_imgNorth Vernon, In. —Attorney General Curtis Hill won a legal victory on Friday that will help the state hold officials accountable for obeying laws and upholding the public trust.A former bookkeeper for the Jennings County Clerk’s Office, Cathy Jo Robertson, has sought to avoid paying back public funds demanded by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). In an audit report, the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) determined that Robertson diverted more than $61,000 in public funds for her own use. Robertson had claimed the OAG’s complaint to recover the funds was filed after the statute of limitations had expired.Robertson’s attorneys said the activity in question occurred from 2009 to 2011 and that the OAG became aware of it from SBOA officials in December of 2014. That being the case, her attorneys claimed, the statute of limitations would have had to begin to run no later than December of 2014.The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, however, that the statute of limitations applicable to the OAG in such instances as this one does not begin to run until the OAG receives the final, verified report from the SBOA. In this case, the OAG received the SBOA’s report on Jan. 22, 2016, and filed its complaint against Robertson on May 5, 2017 – well within the two-year window. Because of this ruling, the OAG will be able to continue to hold public officials and employees responsible for their actions that result in misappropriation or diversion of public funds.“Cases arising out of SBOA audits are especially important to the state because their purpose is to protect public funds,” Attorney General Hill said. “The state needs the ability to recoup taxpayer dollars and root out fraud committed by public officials and employees.”last_img read more

Cronin stars in Leinster victory

first_img Five days on from losing at the home to the Newport Gwent Dragons, Matt O’Connor’s men were facing another shock result when South African full-back Hennie Daniller’s first Pro12 try had Zebre 8-3 ahead at half-time. Despite playing poorly, Leinster came good in the second half as converted tries from Dominic Ryan and Jimmy Gopperth fired them in front, and further efforts from man-of-the-match Fitzgerald and replacement Cronin sealed a five-point return for the defending champions. O’Connor’s side had the ideal platform from an early penalty-winning scrum, however Gopperth missed the straightforward fifth-minute place-kick and they failed to follow up on good approach work by Ben Te’o and Fergus McFadden. Zebre were well organised in defence, keeping error-prone Leinster out, and they raided through for a brilliant breakaway try in the 21st minute. A loose McFadden kick invited Daniller to counter over halfway and he linked with Andrea de Marchi before the latter’s pass was expertly palmed back by Michele Visentin to Daniller, who finished neatly near the left corner. Edoardo Padovani, an injury replacement for Luciano Orquera, missed the conversion and Zebre stayed in front after Jack Conan had a try ruled out for a knock-on by Leinster captain Shane Jennings at the previous maul. Leinster, with a 67 per cent share of possession, had to settle for a 32nd-minute penalty from Gopperth, before Samuela Vunisa won a ruck penalty which allowed Mirco Bergamasco – kicking after Padovani was forced off – to restore his side’s five-point advantage. Early second half replacements Cian Healy and Cronin made an immediate impact for Leinster and with Zane Kirchner and Te’o countering to good effect, the latter’s pass sent Fitzgerald through on an angled run past four players. The damage was done and quick ruck ball saw flanker Ryan touch down from close range for Gopperth to convert. Attacking off a dominant scrum near the Zebre posts, Gopperth took advantage of a Brendon Leonard slip to score try number two which he converted himself. Leinster’s power up front was evident again as they mauled up close to the line, seven minutes from the finish. Healy went close off quick ruck ball before Gopperth’s long pass gave Fitzgerald a simple run-in on the left. The overworked Zebre defence stood firm until the dam broke just past the 80-minute mark. Hooker Cronin duly barrelled over on the left and Gopperth’s fine conversion completed a 26-point turnaround. Sean Cronin’s last-gasp bonus-point try sealed Leinster’s flattering 29-8 Guinness Pro12 victory over bottom side Zebre at the RDS.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Syracuse’s goal to be a ‘power-four team’ falls short in NCAA quarterfinals to Northwestern

first_img Published on May 18, 2019 at 6:44 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelman EVANSTON, IL. —  In the midst of trying to calm down the tears of his players after losing to then-No. 1 Boston College in February, Syracuse head coach Gary Gait paused during his press conference. His team had squandered a five-goal lead. As the No. 11 team in the nation, he wanted to outline his one and only intention for 2019.“We want to be a power-four team that competes for championships,” he declared.There wasn’t much validity to that statement then — only the team’s history as a perennial power. Coming off its worst record in program history, the Orange had to slowly prove themselves. A come-from-behind defeat of then-No. 4 Northwestern, a blow out of then-No. 7 Virginia, taking Maryland, then BC again to the final seconds.After rising to the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, Syracuse (16-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) was one win away from making Gait’s wish come to fruition. Northwestern (16-4, 5-1 Big Ten) was the only team standing in the way from Syracuse reaching the final four team for the first time since 2016. With one minute left in the first half, the Orange were on the wrong side of a blowout, down 10-3. A two-hour lightning delay couldn’t save them. Their star attacks, Emily Hawryschuk and Megan Carney, and their nine goals couldn’t either, as the Orange lost 18-14. Syracuse’s season ended because it couldn’t recover from the mess it created in the first half, and Gait’s aspiration fell one game short from coming true.“We just spotted them,” Gait said postgame. “A 10-3 lead is tough to come back from and we didn’t stop the run when we needed to.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCorey Henry | Photo EditorSyracuse’s first statement win of the season came in late February against the same team that ended its season. Coming off the Boston College collapse, SU stormed the aspects of lacrosse that limited it today: face-guards, a plethora of scorers and a draw control group that ranks top-10 in the nation. Down two in the final minutes in the Carrier Dome, SU fought back to tie the score in the closing seconds. And in overtime, Hawryschuk brought the Orange the alluded ranked win it needed early in the season. But that was February.On May 18, Syracuse had proven it was a top-five — not top-four — team that could take any powerhouse to the final possession. In the first half, the Orange looked far from it.After Hawryschuk had broken out of a face-guard from Northwestern defender Nell Copeland off a spin dodge, Saturday’s matchup seemed to be another “game of runs,” the term Gait alludes to as the nature of lacrosse. With Wildcat attack Selena Lasota, one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists, being shut out, Syracuse was bound to break through. But the Wildcats’ secondary scorers showed up when SU’s couldn’t. Senior Claire Quinn found space to shoot, catching goalkeeper Asa Goldstock off guard. Later, a rip off a double team from NU freshman Izzy Scane befuddled Goldstock as she sat in front of her net.“We wanted to move the ball and attack them aggressively,” Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “We were ready…our offense is effective no matter what it’s in front.”Syracuse’s response was turnovers, not scores. Goldstock had no answer and Hawryschuk wasn’t able to score in bunches early like she’s done throughout the year. The one-goal deficit escalated to seven. The Orange were stifled, their hopes of advancing to the final four darkened like the cloudy skies of Evanston.Lasota and Hawryschuk, the top players on their respective teams, resurrected to start the first three minutes of the second half. But lightning struck above Evanston, and any chance of recovery from Syracuse’s first half strife would have to wait two hours.  Corey Henry | Photo EditorCrammed in a small locker room, Gait tried to rally his team as the rain pelted Martin Stadium. Syracuse had just won in a rainstorm a week prior, and the Orange had 27 minutes to erase the 11-6 deficit.The rain steadied, but by 4:45 p.m. Central Standard Time, Hawryschuk lined up for a draw. An SU goal on the first possession was overshadowed by three straight from Northwestern as fog caused by the adjacent Lake Michigan crept in. But in an instant, down 14-8, all of the “wacky” weather disappeared. And SU’s high-octane attack reappeared.“You start on the wrong foot,” freshman Megan Carney said. “And you want to turn that around.”Junior Ella Simkins and freshman Sarah Cooper collided toward the middle, hindering cutters from getting their stick up. And when someone got through, their swipes — which were mostly called fouls earlier — became forced turnovers. Carney scored off a cut, then Hawryschuk bulldozed in. Freshman Meaghan Tyrrell faked a handoff and sidearmed a shot to the opposite side of the net. The scoring run that never came in the first half finally arrived and Northwestern’s lead was just 15-13. “You can see in the second half, we had that intensity,” Hawryschuk said. “We needed more, and we didn’t have that then.”But all of its momentum was stopped on the draw as Hawryschuk, who had 10 draw controls on the day along with five goals, couldn’t maintain her success. NU junior Megan Kinna popped out of nowhere to score, and on the ensuing draw, attack Lindsey McKone scored eight seconds into the shot clock. “The team who wins deserves a final four,” Lasota said. “Every team here has a similar chance, it’s a matter who shows up.”As the clock ticked with Syracuse down four scores with four minutes left, any hope of a comeback slowly became an afterthought. Off a high shot from Lasota with 1:45 left, the clock didn’t stop. Syracuse players, parents, and even head coach Gary Gait couldn’t maintain their cool. While the referees huddled, complaints from a dwindling group of 20 SU parents and fans continued. One Northwestern fan, decking a purple flag, motioned toward them and turned to his friend.“It doesn’t even matter anymore,” the fan said under his breath.Minutes after the game, SU players approached their families one-by-one. Senior Julie Cross, then Hawryschuk and sophomore Sam Swart, with tears in their eyes, tried to embrace the only people left in orange at Martin Field. Gait watched from a distance as his team looked for the comfort he couldn’t give.When asked about falling one game short from being that “power-four team,” Gait put his hands on his Persian blue pants, then tugged at his collar. His eyes widened, but no words came out at first. Eventually, he had to say something. “We were close.”Corey Henry | Photo Editor Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more