More Than $500,000 Stolen From County Governments In Tennessee Remains Uncollected

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the 2012 Report of Cash Shortages, auditors found that $563,372.50 of funds stolen from county governments, some dating back several years, had not been recovered.  Details about the missing money can be found in the report, which was released Tuesday.

The news in the report wasn’t all bad: For the reporting period, auditors reported new thefts of $106,495.27 – down from $213,635.66 the year before. And - thanks to the recovery of $279,817.21 last year - the statewide balance of uncollected funds dropped from $736,694.44 cited in last year’s report to $563,372.50 in this year’s report.

Information about cash shortages is collected from the annual financial reports and special reports for the state’s 89 counties audited by the Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Audit and the six counties audited by private accounting firms.

In addition to a county-by-county breakdown of cash shortages, the report also provides explanations of how the shortages were detected, how the money was stolen, corrective steps taken by counties and legal actions taken against those responsible for the thefts.

“While it is good to see that the number of new thefts was down last year and a substantial amount of money was recovered, there’s absolutely no reason to be complacent about these statistics,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “It’s important for our local government officials to constantly remain on guard against the potential theft of taxpayer money. That means they need to have good checks and balances – what our auditors refer to as ‘internal controls’ – in their procedures for how money is collected, recorded, deposited and spent. If adequate safeguards aren’t in place, the amount of stolen money identified in future cash shortage reports is likely to rise.”

To view the report online, go to: http://comptroller.tn.gov/repository/CA/2012/2012%20Cash%20Shortage%20Report.pdf.


Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Man Finds Possible Rival's Hat While Delivering Gifts To Girlfriend; Man In Underwear Fussing With Neighbors

A man said he came by a house on Alabama Avenue in St. Elmo to give his daughter and his girlfriend gifts. While there he found a hat belonging to his cousin and he now believes that they are cheating on him. The girlfriend said that this was not true and did not want him there anymore because of his behavior. He agreed to leave and left walking. * * * A Brainerd woman ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)

Amazing Bradley Builds 32-0 Lead, Routs Cookeville 69-35 In Region 3-3A Tournament

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central’s top-ranked Bearettes went into Friday’s Region 3-3A quarterfinal basketball game against Cookeville with several thoughts in mind. Sending a message was one of them. Stamp it delivered. The Bearettes, now at 30-0 with the tradition-rich program’s third-longest winning streak in its history, overwhelmed the Lady Cavaliers with a ... (click for more)

Macon County Ends Season For Signal Mountain Girls

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles entered the first round of the Region 4-AA basketball tournament as the District 7-AA champions and riding high on a seven-game winning streak. The Macon County Tigerettes came to Signal Mountain Friday night for that first-round game on a two-game losing streak and still hurting after finishing fourth in last week’s District 8 gathering. But ... (click for more)