Three Quarters Of A Million Dollars’ Worth Of Stolen Public Money Remains Uncollected

Friday, June 20, 2014

Although county officials across Tennessee have made strides in recovering money stolen from public coffers, $775,221.12 remained uncollected at the end of the last fiscal year.

That was one of the key findings of the 2013 Report of Cash Shortages, released by the state Comptroller’s office.

Each year, the Comptroller’s office prepares the report detailing the status of money stolen from county governments in Tennessee. The report includes information compiled from annual financial reports for the 89 counties audited by the Comptroller’s office and six counties audited by private accounting firms, as well as investigations and special reports issued by the Comptroller’s office.

The report provides a snapshot of each county’s cash shortages as of June 30, 2013. There is information in the report not only about money stolen during the year, but also in previous fiscal years that remains unrecovered.

The state’s 95 counties began the last fiscal year with $563,372.50 in cash shortages that had not been recovered. During the year, $449,624.04 worth of new shortages was detected. Counties were able to recover $237,775.42 through restitution payments, insurance claims or other means. That left a net unrecovered shortage of $775,221.12 at the end of the fiscal year.

“While it’s encouraging that county officials have been able to recover substantial amounts of the money that has been taken from them, it’s discouraging that the amount of new thefts discovered in the fiscal year outpaces the recovered amounts,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “I hope people will read through this report and realize how widespread the theft of public funds is in our state. I urge local government officials to follow the steps recommended by our auditors to safeguard against the fraud, waste and abuse of public money.”

In addition to a county-by-county breakdown of the cash shortages, the report also provides explanations of how the shortages were discovered, methods used to steal the money, corrective steps taken by counties to prevent future thefts and legal actions taken against those responsible for the thefts.




Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AIRKS, JESSICA  711 WOODVALE AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ANDERSON, SHEA AMBER  4103 DAYTON BLVD APTC37 CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Arrested For Aggravated Robbery On 5th Ave.

Toriq Quinn Johnson, Jr. was arrested for aggravated robbery on Thursday.. Police were notified of a robbery that occurred on 4010 5 th Ave. on Wednesday. They spoke with Christopher Worley, who said that earlier that day he was in front of his residence when Johnson drove up and asked him if he wanted to buy some pills. He said he told Johnson no and Johnson drove off. ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Settle It With A Vote

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which I consider a pretty good authority on what words really mean, defines “freedom” in this way:  “The quality or state of being free: such as, (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; (b) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; (c) independence -- the quality or state of being exempt ... (click for more)

Shoulders, Hester Lead CSAS Past Lookout Valley, 10-7

Most of the regular-season district softball games are in the book and teams are trying to sharpen their skills as they prepare for the post-season in hopes of landing in Murfreesboro for the season-ending TSSAA state tournament the week before Memorial Day. Such is the case for the Red Bank Lionettes, who are hosting the 2016 Red Bank Invitational this weekend at the Red Bank ... (click for more)

McMasters Makes Tough Call To Play Volleyball At Lee

Grace Baptist Academy two-sport standout Claire McMasters envisioned playing basketball and volleyball at a small college after her career ended with the Lady Golden Eagles. So, she “looked at” Covenant College and Maryville College as two schools where she thought that would be possible to extend her two-sport status. McMasters’ recruiting shifted quickly once Lee University ... (click for more)