FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tammy Sander
Phone: (317) 517-9520
County Commissioners Temporarily Rescind Appointment of County Veteran Service Officer
Search Postponed While State Lawmakers Review Indiana Code
(NOBLESVILLE, JANUARY 28, 2020) – Hamilton County Commissioners have temporarily rescinded the appointment of Lisa Charles as the County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO). Previously a three-member interview committee had unanimously recommended her appointment, with the understanding that residency requirements for the position could be waived.
“We believe the interview process produced the most qualified candidate to help our county veterans,” Christine Altman, president of the County Commissioners stated. “Unfortunately, we have learned the residency requirements cannot be waived under current law.”
Indiana code IC 10-17-1-5 states that a county veteran service officer must be a resident of Indiana for at least five years immediately preceding their appointment. Charles moved to Indiana in 2018.
“We need to be in compliance with the code, while also ensuring we are doing everything we can to service our veterans,” Altman said. “Regardless of the outcome of this appointment, we will continue to work to improve staffing, our training, and workflow process to meet the needs of our veterans.”
To that end, the commissioners have asked Charles to continue working full-time servicing and filing claims for veterans while they sort out the details. Efforts are currently underway at the Statehouse that could change the residency requirements.
“We understand there is legislation going on downtown that could change the residency requirements that value county residency over skill and ability,” Altman says. “We will reserve the appointment of an official CVSO until we see what shakes out in the legislature this year.”
The Veterans Service Office has a full-time CVSO and two part-time positions. A military veteran and Carmel resident, Charles is certified at both the state and federal levels and worked in Hamilton County Veteran Service Office prior to her appointment.