PRINCETON — Princeton Police Department is investigating a theft complaint made Tuesday by Paxton Media Group Regional Publisher Mike Weafer and Regional Advertising Director Courtney Shuttle on behalf of The Princeton Daily Clarion, Vincennes Sun-Commercial and Mount Carmel (Illinois) Register newspapers.
Neely M. Held, 24, of Vincennes, resigned her position as an advertising sales representative for the three newspapers April 7 when Shuttle questioned her about billing discrepancies reported by some of Held's clients, who said they did not authorize the purchase of some ad space for which they were billed.
Following an internal investigation, the company asked police to investigate Held’s actions as a criminal matter.
In light of the circumstances, Held’s weekly faith-based column published in the three newspapers was also immediately discontinued.
Shuttle is reaching out to advertisers believed to have been affected, to address each situation.
“We deeply value the confidence and trust we have earned in our communities,” said Weafer. “We are obviously shocked by these circumstances. This is just not how we conduct business. Foremost, we are committed to protecting the integrity of the relationships we have earned over the years with our advertisers and our readers.”
Paxton Media Group is a family owned newspaper company with century-deep roots in community journalism. The Daily Clarion is the oldest continuously operating business in Gibson County, with more than 171 years of local reporting. The Mount Carmel Register’s journalism presence in the community dates back nearly 179 years, and The Sun-Commercial is Indiana’s oldest newspaper, a direct descendant of Elihu Stout’s first newspaper published in Vincennes in 1804.