BENTON -- Family and friends of Angela Mischelle Lawless have turned over close to $7,000 to the Scott County treasurer's office to help pay for lab work to solve the 1992 murder case.
But Glenda Enderle, treasurer, said she hasn't yet been able to disperse any of the funds yet.
She recently sent a letter to the sheriff's department, requesting a revised bill by Nov. 30. "This money needs to be paid out," said Enderle.
Enderle said she is unsure how to handle the donations, as there are no statutes for paying bills through donations. "This is something we've never done before," said Enderle.
She expressed concern the donations never should have been accepted. "We are a government, not a business," said Enderle. "Everything has to be regulated by statute."
In an August meeting, commissioners and the sheriff, as well as Enderle, met about the issue. Then, they decided it was in the county's best interest to carefully account for all monies received and all expenditures -- a concern also raised by the state auditor.
Independent Forensic Services, based in the Netherlands, was selected to test the DNA recovered in evidence when the crime occurred. In August, that bill was $39,795.46 At that point, payments of $9,200 from the Law Enforcement Restitution Fund and $15,000 from the Sheriff's Civil Fee Fund had been made, leaving the unpaid balance at $15,595.46.
"I think that, as the money comes in, we need to pay it toward the bill," said Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger.
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