Columbia City Parks Superintendent Sentenced for Embezzling

Mark Green, the former superintendent of Columbia City Parks and Recreation, found himself in hot water after being sentenced to three years in prison for an audacious embezzlement scheme. Green’s crime came to light following a vigilant investigation initiated by Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel in March 2023. The probe was kickstarted after suspicious financial transactions raised red flags, uncovering Green’s illicit activities.

Collaborating efforts between the Whitley County Prosecutor’s Office, Indiana State Police, and the Indiana State Board of Accounts played a pivotal role in exposing the superintendent’s misdeeds. It was disclosed in court documents that Green had siphoned off a staggering $246,000 from city funds to fuel his passion for baseball cards, indulging himself with purchases from ‘Sport Spot’ using the city’s credit card. Subsequently, Green resorted to selling some of these ill-gotten cards on eBay, having to admit to his misuse of public funds for personal gain.

Initially facing a slew of serious charges including corrupt business influence, theft, and official misconduct, Green opted for a plea deal in April 2024. This decision led to his admission of guilt to a single count of theft, resulting in the dismissal of all other charges against him. As part of the plea agreement, Green was required to make full restitution amounting to $275,628, with $100,000 allocated to a bond company and the remaining $175,628 earmarked for the city’s coffers.

In a dramatic turn of events, Green received his sentencing on a somber Monday, where the court decreed that he would spend the initial year of his three-year term either behind bars or on a work release program, followed by two years of probation. This case has not only tarnished the reputation of the former superintendent but has also shed light on the lax financial oversight within Columbia City’s Parks and Recreation Department, prompting a dire need for stringent controls and checks to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.