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Special prosecutor reviewing criminal allegations against Floyd County Council member

A gavel
Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron
A special prosecutor has been assigned to review allegations that Floyd County Council President Denise Konkle was unlawfully elected to office while living outside her district in Harrison County.

A special prosecutor has been assigned to review allegations that Floyd County Council President Denise Konkle was unlawfully elected to office while living outside her district in Harrison County.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull confirmed to LPM News Thursday that he is reviewing the case against Konkle, a Republican who was reelected to the office in November.

He did not say when or if he will file charges.

In a separate but related civil lawsuit filed in April, petitioner Charles Moon alleges Konkle did not live in Floyd County when she was elected. Moon’s attorney filed a petition to declare Konkle’s seat forfeited, arguing that she had lived on Tandy Road in Lanesville — which is in Harrison County — since October 2022.

Moon ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a Floyd County Council seat in November and is married to council member Connie Moon.

His petition states that under Indiana code, a person “shall reside within their respective counties” and that “by continuously residing in Harrison County for at least six months, Konkle has forfeited her right to be a member of the County Council of Floyd County.”

In a response filed by her attorney in May, Konkle admitted that she had temporarily stayed in Harrison County from October through April, but only while her Floyd County home was being built. It states that she closed on the Floyd County home in April.

Her attorney also filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing it was “clear that a person does not change residency by the mere fact of being physically present in another location; rather, the person must have intent to reside in the new location.” The filing also argues that under Indiana law, this would not change her permanent address.

The motion states that Moon’s petition failed to allege Konkle intended to permanently live in Harrison County.

“Councilwoman Konkle is a lifelong resident of Floyd County and is proud to serve the citizens of Floyd County,” it reads. “The petition is nothing more than a political stunt from those who disagree with how Councilwoman Konkle has served her constituents and her exercise of political independence.”

Clark County Superior Court No. 6 Judge Kyle Williams has been assigned to the civil case. The court has not yet had a hearing on the motion to dismiss.

Moon also filed a complaint in April with the Floyd County Election Board. In it, he alleged that Konkle filed campaign finance forms late and was not truthful on the forms when she did not list the Harrison County address.

He also said Konkle either misused county resources or failed to report an expenditure or in kind contribution. Related to this, he said Konkle talked with county council attorney Steven Langdon and took his advice on her residential issue.

The complaint also states that under Indiana code, a county council member forfeits their office “if they do not reside in the district in which they're elected.”

In his complaint, Moon asked that the election board fine her for filing the forms late, which Floyd County Clerk Danita Burks confirmed the board recently did. Moon asked that the other matters be turned over to the Floyd County Prosecutor’s office.

Moon later withdrew his allegation to the board that Konkle was untruthful on the campaign finance forms, as that matter was already “central to the questions that are before a judge” in the civil case, according to Floyd County Election Board findings.

Accusations of whether Konkle violated laws or should be removed from office for her living situation comes in the months after she was censured for violating a party rule called “Republican in Good Standing.”

Floyd County Republican Party Chair Heather Archibald-Peters said the rule states Republicans “will not support publicly and openly candidates of another party over a Republican candidate.”

“She not only did that in the leadership vote this year, she also took most of the Republicans … off most of the committees that she served on in favor of [Democrats],” Archibald-Peters said.

Archibald-Peters filed the complaint in January. She said while she wants the members to work together on be bipartisan on issues in the community,

“The Republicans should be leading the charge,’” Archibald-Peters said. “‘We hold a majority on the county council [and] that's obviously the leadership that the voters want.’”

The Indiana Republican 9th District Committee ruled on the complaint in February. Their decision to censure Konkle means she can’t run for elected office as a Republican in Indiana through the end of 2028.

Konkle appealed that at the state party level. On June 21, officials sent Archibald-Peters a letter informing her that the state party had voted 19-0 with one abstention to not hear the appeal.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.