IC 36-6-4-18 provides "(a) Within thirty (30) days after taking office, the executive shall designate a person who shall perform the executive's duties whenever the executive is incapable of performing the executive's functions because the executive: (1) is absent from the township; or (2) becomes incapacitated. The executive shall give notice of the designation to the chairman of the township legislative body, the county sheriff, and any other persons that the executive chooses. The designee shall have all the powers of the executive. The executive is responsible for all acts of the designee. The executive may change the designee under this section at any time."
"(b) The designee shall perform the executive's duties until: (1) the executive is no longer absent from the township; or (2) an acting executive is appointed by the county executive under section 16 of this chapter."
We have not received any Official Opinions of the Attorney General of the State of Indiana which would indicate that a trustee could appoint a current township board member to serve as acting trustee in a township. Potential constitutional conflicts could exist concerning the holding of two (2) lucrative offices. However, Official Opinion Number 87-22 issued November 18, 1987 of the Attorney General of the State of Indiana discussed the possibility of designating another trustee and provides: "It is, therefore, my Official Opinion that a township trustee may appoint or designate pursuant to Public Law 105-1986 (HEA 1374), a township trustee of another township to act for him while he is absent from the township or while he is incapacitated. However, if any compensation is paid to the designee for the performance of the duties of the appointing township trustee, there may be a violation of Article 2, § 9 of the Constitution of Indiana." Therefore, we are of the audit position townships should consider appointing someone who is a resident of the township not currently holding another lucrative office. Examples might be the previous township trustee, previous board members, or a current clerk in the office. Finally, we are of the audit position that we are not aware of any provision for payment of compensation to an individual designated in accordance with IC 36-6-4-18.