June 17, 2024
Lafayette trustee charged $36K to home improvement stores

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of several reports on court-ordered release of Fairfield Township’s credit card records and what these credit card statements reveal. However, Trustee Taletha Coles did not turn over the receipts for the credit credit card purchases and there are missing statements..

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Fairfield Township Trustee Taletha Coles chalked up her $113,259 in credit card charges over three years to her renovations at the township’s office on Wabash Avenue, but only $36,691.51 can be directly tied to home improvement purchases.

A Journal & Courier’s ongoing review of the court-ordered release of the township’s credit card statements showed that between January 2019 and July 2021, Coles charged $36,691.51 to local home improvement stores, as well as to Just Blinds, Best Buy, and Cork Floors.

Taletha Coles, Fairfield Township trustee, during a Fairfield Township budget proposal meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Lafayette.

However, there are several months that do not have credit card statements, and there are statements that are only two pages. The documents indicate there are several missing pages that were not provided to the public.

The Journal & Courier emailed Coles for comment about the spending, including more than $2,000 of purchases at Best Buy in March 2020. Coles did not respond.

In May 2019, Coles charged $984 to Just Blinds, presumably for the township’s office. She also charged more than $1,300 that month to National Business Furniture. In June 2019, Coles charged $2,652.59 to Cork Floors and $700 to Kirklands in Lafayette.