Hammond Republican Chair Alleges Improprieties in Hammond Schools Referendum Campaign

Charlie Kallas alleges that payments to WJOB radio station for referendum promotion are not listed on financial disclosures or the school website and that school officials used school e-mails to advocate for the referendum

Vote Yes for Hammond Schools PAC campaign finance disclosure, page 1. Alesia Pritchett, Treasurer.

August 20, 2018-The Chair of the Hammond Republican Party has filed a request for investigation into the conduct and accounting practices of the School City of Hammond and the Vote Yes Political Action Committee with regard to the 2017 Hammond Schools Referendum.  In a November 2017 special election, Hammond voters approved  two additional school appropriations via referendum.  Officials of the School City of Hammond formed a political action committee-Vote Yes for Hammond Schools-to support the Referenda.  According to filings with the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, Alesia Pritchett, business manager for the School City of Hammond, served as treasurer of the Political Action Committee.

In his request for investigation, Kallas stated “information that has been either provided or open to public record indicates taxpayer funds and resources were used in advocating for the school referendum. If the information is determined to be credible and accurate, it would be a violation per the Indiana Code (3-14-1-17). . .These findings are difficult to ignore. I hope Hammond residents and voters will look at what is being presented, engage in a proper discussion, and ultimately have our proper officials determine the next course of action.”

To summarize the complaint, its believed that administrative and educator employees of the School City of Hammond were allegedly negligent in following certain campaigning laws, omitted financial information, and potentially covered up the use of expenditures and resources for political campaigning.

In every election its expected to respect the outcome, whether favorable or not, that a fair result occurred without wrong doing. Kallas ended with, “Transparency is vital to ensuring a healthy governing of the communities in which we work and live. If important information is being omitted, and laws are being violated, is becomes difficult for our residents to rely on any government official to be trusted, regardless of party affiliation.”

Vote Yes 4 Hammond Schools raised  $40,3760.40 and spent $40,376.40 promoting the referendum according to campaign finance records.  The income and expenditures match exactly, with only 4 cents in unitemized contributions and $15.04 in unitemized expenditures.  As the books clearly balance, there would be no room for unaccounted for expenses.  You can see the complete filing of the Vote Yes 4 Hammond Schools Political Action Committee below:






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