Gary School Board candidate denies theft charge
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 October 6, 2012 5:36PM
Updated: November 8, 2012 11:48AM
GARY — A School Board candidate says a felony theft charge against him is a “trumped up” accusation from adversaries who want to keep him off the board.
“This was an attack. They were hoping I wouldn’t run,” he said.
Marcus E. Hare, 29, was charged with one count of theft in Lake Superior Court on March 22. Hare is accused of making unauthorized charges totaling $1,800 and $2,000 on his former employer’s credit cards between Sept. 1, 2011 and Feb. 8, 2012.
Wanda Logan, the owner of Sonographic Images in Gary, told authorities Hare used the money to pay off his personal debts. Logan said she discovered Hare used her credit card without permission on Oct. 26, 2011 to purchase gas for himself and his wife, but she let it go.
Logan said Hare stopped working for her by the end of October 2011, but she continued to find more unauthorized charges. She told authorities there were two forged checks drawn on her business; both were dated Sept. 30, 2011, in the amount of $300 and made payable to Marcus Hare.
An omnibus hearing on the matter is set for Oct. 31 in Lake Superior Court. Hare is represented by attorney Scott King.
Hare strongly denied taking the money. He said Logan is a relative of a supporter of a movement to keep the main branch of the Gary Public Library open. Hare said he’s been vocal in support of transforming the library into a cultural center and museum. Construction had begun on the center, but was shut down because the Library Board has lacked a quorum needed to pay bills from construction companies.
“They don’t want me there,” said Hare. “I am 100 percent confident the charges will be dismissed and dropped.”
Hare said he worked as Logan’s executive director. “I’ve been quiet about it, but I have the proof I was authorized to use the corporate card. It’s been given to the judge and prosecutor.”
Robert Buggs, a member of the Citizens to Save the Gary Public Library, said he wanted to bring the felony charge against Hare to light before the election. He said the School Board has the power to make two appointments to the Library Board and he’s concerned about Hare’s background.
Hare admitted he filed bankruptcy in 2010 because of debts stemming from a divorce. Court records indicate his debts amounted to $184,581. He said he makes monthly payments on the debts, according to a payment plan.
Hare, who said he lives in Miller, is also a member of the Gary Public Transportation Corp. board of directors.
He said he’s chief financial officer for BJB Iron and Fence Co. in Gary.
Antuwan Clemons, 22, who opposes Hare for the at-large seat vacated by Darren Washington, said Hare should reconsider his candidacy.
“If you have any criminal background as far as stealing, you shouldn’t be charged with dealing with a budget. We don’t need anyone like that on our school board. If he’s not convicted, he can run again in four years.”
Hare’s candidacy has drawn high-profile supporters. Among those who signed his petition for candidacy were former Mayor Rudy Clay, State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, School Board member Rosie Washington and Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas.