The former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee was charged Thursday with 26 counts of forgery and one count of theft for allegedly misappropriating more than $96,000 of the organization’s money.
Matthew Hendrix is accused of making fraudulent payments to fictitious vendors using program funds, according to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.
Hendrix made numerous payments to the fake vendors from GIPC accounts from September 2012 through February 2014, the prosecutor said.
IBJ reported April 25 that GIPC had asked local law enforcement to investigate Hendrix.
GIPC fired Hendrix in March 2014 after a personal expense of more than $5,000 was reported on the organization’s business credit card account, the prosecutor said.
Hendrix was taken into custody by Marion County law enforcement Thursday afternoon and was unavailable for comment.
Hendrix's attorney, Jim Voyles, declined comment to The Associated Press.
GIPC is a public-private advisory group founded in 1965 that works closely with city officials and has an office in the City-County Building. It manages a number of initiatives in partnership with the city.
The prosecutor’s office said Hendrix is believed to have taken funds intended for programs including the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Award, Bank On Indy, Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness, Volunteer Tax Assistance and the Office of Education Innovation.
An initial hearing has not yet been set in the case.
Hendrix joined GIPC in 2008 as a deputy director after working as publisher of the Lebanon Daily Sun and a reporter at the Boone County Reporter. He was named executive director of GIPC in 2009 as one of two staff members.
His position is being filled in the interim by John Ryan, who was a deputy under former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut and a top staffer in the administration of former Gov. Mitch Daniels.