Teising shuts down trustee’s office, rejects township firefighters’ rescue plan
TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Indiana (WLFI) – Wabash Township Administrator Jennifer Teising closed the Administrator’s office on Thursday and directs the public to her home address, 132 Knox Drive in West Lafayette.
The closure comes after the township board meeting on Tuesday, where she was outraged by her management of the firefighters.
As News 18 previously reported, Teising will end the township’s three paid firefighters this month. She attributes the layoffs to budget deficits.
The township advisory council has approved a last-minute money transfer that it says could keep firefighters employed until 2023.
But in emails posted to Facebook by the Township of Wabash Fire Services AssociationTeising suggests she will go ahead with the layoffs and says the transfer resolution shouldn’t have been considered.
“You had not put the resolution on the agenda and it was not published,” she wrote in the email.
But board chairman Angel Valentin said members had a day to prepare for the resolution after Teising emailed firefighters on Monday their last day of work was June 29.
Valentin said the Indiana public access counselor ruled the resolution did not violate open door laws.
The emails suggest that Teising is asking the State Accounts Board to investigate the issue.
“The SBOA has been contacted and will make a decision on whether the board can transfer money from the cumulative fire fund to the fire fund,” she wrote in the email.
Teising said at Tuesday’s board meeting, which she attended virtually via Zoom, that she needed to review the legality of the transfer.
“I’m going to have to watch and see what exactly they are doing and what they are offering and what we can do and what we are legally allowed to do,” she said.
But Valentin said the local government finance ministry approved the resolution.
Mike Dwyer, the president of the firefighters association, made this plea during the board meeting:
“Trustee Teising, please, please, please don’t end these three paid guys,” he said. “They have families, they have lives and you are trying to ruin them … do this.”
News 18 has contacted Teising and is awaiting his comments.