ONLY ON WDRB: Hodgenville city clerk denies wrongdoing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ONLY ON WDRB: Hodgenville city clerk denies wrongdoing

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HODGENVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hodgenville city clerk MaDonna Hornback admits to using the city's gas card to fill her personal car, but she says the city owes her nearly $200,000.

Hornback spoke exclusively to WDRB, breaking her silence nearly a month after she and Mayor Terry Cruse were indicted on dozens of felony charges stemming from an alleged misuse of city funds.

WDRB's Gilbert Corsey asked Hornback the same question three times, and Hornback revealed more details in each response.

Corsey:
"Did you misuse these gas cards?"

Hornback:
"No sir, I did not."

Corsey:
"Did you use the cards to put fuel in your personal vehicle?"

Hornback:
"I used the gas card but not only did my card get used -- it was just a gas card that had my name on it but everyone used it."

Corsey:
"The indictment is that you're using the city card in your personal vehicle."

Hornback:
"Ok, yes I did. I'm not going to say I didn't but I also used my personal vehicle for city use."

WDRB found Hornback back on the job Tuesday morning moments after she and Mayor Cruse pleaded not guilty in arraignment to charges of abusing public trust and theft.

They call the case against them politically motivated.

"I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. I hate it for the community. I hate it for me. I feel like me and my staff have done a good job here," said Mayor Cruse.

Meanwhile, Hornback filed a complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet saying the city of Hodgenville owes her $197,000 dollars in unpaid overtime.

She says the city accountant changed her status from hourly to salary in 2009 without approval.

"Yes, I  realize that it looks bad that I came in now and done it. I was told previously I would get paid and it didn't make any difference," Hornback said.

Hornback claims it was Hodgenville city councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Phelps who told her that.

"That was years ago -- I had no authority. I do remember telling her to keep up with it but that's the mayor's job to pay her for it," Phelps told WDRB.

WDRB discovered Hornback's salary has more than doubled since she took office as city clerk in 2007, from $12 to $24.75 an hour.

She says she didn't come forward about pay problems earlier because city council members already wanted her fired.

"What difference does it make if they fire me now, at least I might get my money because I've been trying for four years to get it," Hornback said.

As more problems come to light, pressure mounts against the embattled city leaders to resign.

"It would be best if they stepped down," Phelps said.

"I will fight it 'til the end," Mayor Cruse said.

There was also a fight Tuesday morning to keep the discovery in this case from going public, but it was denied.

The file will be unsealed in 10 days, unless a higher court intervenes.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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