HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – In light of the recent indictment of Pigeon Township Trustee Mariama Wilson, we are looking into the need and role of township government and the work to put trust back in the trustee. Knight Township Trustee Kathryn Martin says township government offers assistance residents otherwise may not receive.

“Keeping families together in their homes, with their utilities on,” says Martin, “paying for life-sustaining medications when people are in the middle of applying for health insurance. Those are the things that we are designed to do.”

It’s a role Martin takes personally; serving tax payers in Knight Township, and putting their needs above her own. But recent allegations of thousands of dollars in wire fraud in nearby Pigeon Township brings unwanted conversations.

“It’s uncomfortable,” explains Martin, “any time a township is accused or there’s allegations. We’re probably, here in Evansville and surrounding areas, the first place that’s called because of what had happened before in this office.”

In 2010, former Knight Township Trustee Linda Durham was arrested for misappropriation of more than $70,000 in township funds. In the years that followed, Martin and her staff turned Knight Township around.

“It took a lot of work and a lot of reading codes and making sure that we’re working within what the state tells us we can work, the guidelines,” recalls Martin. “And, at the same time, being fiscally responsible and staying within our budget. Because, at the end of the day, if I’m not doing my job then somebody is suffering.”

The township serves nearly 40% of Vanderburgh County’s population. In 2022, Knight Township assisted more than 1,500 individuals in 757 households. While Pigeon Township faces fraud allegations, Martin wants her office’s legacy to not be relegated to 2010.

“I’m very proud to be Knight Township Trustee,” says Martin. “We have come a long way, we’ve had clean audits, we work alongside our board, because our ultimate goal here in this office is to do right by everybody.”