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Police officer charged with theft of youth league funds

Published: Sep. 21, 2017 at 2:45 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
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joseph Hoskins (Source: Clark County, IN Jail)
joseph Hoskins (Source: Clark County, IN Jail)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Theft charges have been filed against an officer with the Clarksville Police Department in connection with the theft of money from a youth football league.

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Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull said his office has charged Joseph Hoskins with eight counts of theft.

"The records from the little league do reflect there is a substantial amount of money missing from the account," Mull said. "The money was taken out of the little league account and transferred directly into either Mr. Hoskins personal checking account or on at least one occasion, directly to an account that was his car loan."

The case involves thousands of dollars that disappeared from the bank account of the Clarksville Little Generals Youth Football League. Board members have previously told WAVE 3 News that Hoskins was the league treasurer.

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Although the money was returned to the account, one of the league board members said when questions were asked to Hoskins about where the money went his story kept changing. It was then when parents went to police.

Parents who spoke with WAVE 3 News in August said the money was supposed to be used for cheerleading uniforms. According to parents, Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer ended up donating the funds himself to buy the uniforms.

Clarksville Police chief Mark R. Palmer issued the following statement on the arrest.

"In August, the Clarksville Police Department received allegations of criminal conduct from the community and based upon those complaints, an investigation is being conducted by the Clark County Sheriff's Department.

This afternoon I was made aware of the arrest of Joseph Hoskins on charges of Theft. Hoskins has been placed on suspension without pay as this investigation continues.

The Clarksville Police Department will continue providing the community with highest standard of service. We strive to strength [sic] our relationship with the community as we continue to uphold the law and protect the citizens of Clarksville.

At this time, further investigation into these allegations is being conducted."

Hoskins attorney Larry Wilder said the money in Hoskins' account was the result of an account mix-up.

"Anything that happened was non-intentional. He wasn't knowledgeable. He did not knowingly, intentionally exert unauthorized control, over the little leagues funds," Wilder said. "Immediately once it was brought to light, he determined how much he owed and it was returned."

An email to Chief Palmer from Youth League President Rob Martin said Hoskins accidentally transferred the funds and paid it back to the league.

But the prosecutor says taking the money to begin with is still a crime.

"If he did pay it back, that was the right thing to do. I'm glad he did," Mull said. "It doesn't excuse in any way the theft itself."

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