Former GIPC leader gets 2 years of home detention

The former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee was sentenced to two years of home detention Friday after pleading guilty to four counts of Class C felony forgery.

Matthew Hendrix was fired as GIPC’s top executive in March after the not-for-profit city advisory group discovered irregularities involving several of his financial transactions.

After a police investigation, Hendrix was initially charged May 1 with 26 counts of forgery and one count of theft for misappropriating at least $96,000 of the organization’s money.

As part of the plea agreement with the Marion County Prosecutor’s office, Hendrix on Friday received a four-year sentence in the Department of Corrections. Two of those years were suspended.

He also is required to spend one year on probation and perform 100 hours of community service.

The sentence was approved after Hendrix turned over a restitution check in the amount of $126,356.37 to GIPC officials. The amount covered misappropriated funds plus severance pay he received when he was fired.

Prosecutors said Hendrix made numerous payments to the fake vendors from GIPC accounts from September 2012 through February 2014. GIPC officials became suspicious when a personal expense of more than $5,000 was reported on the organization’s business credit card account.

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.
Hendrix joined GIPC in 2008 as a deputy director after working as publisher of the Lebanon Daily Sun and as a reporter at the Boone County Reporter. He was named executive director of GIPC in 2009 as one of two staff members.

Earlier this week, GIPC appointed Molly Deuberry as its new executive director. Deuberry will replace interim director John Ryan, who took over when Hendrix left.


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