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.




1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 In Whitfield County

One person died in a crash on I-75 in Whitfield County on Saturday. The wreck happened near exit 348 in the southbound lane. Traffic was backed up for miles after the accident. (click for more)

Over $30,000 Of High-End Men's Clothing Stolen From Hardwick & Co. In Cleveland

Cleveland Police said over $30,000 worth of high-end men's clothing was stolen from Hardwick & Co on Oak Street. The burglary happened sometime Friday night. Items stolen included name brands such as British Belt Company, Dubarry Azores Shoes, Jack of Spades Pants, John Peter London Pants and button down Shirts, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Tailor Byrd Button Down Shirts. ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)

Lookouts Drop First Game Of Second Half In 8-2 Loss To Jackson

The Jackson Generals scored five runs in the third inning on their way to an 8-2 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. The loss was the Lookouts first of the second half.   Jackson got off to a good start by scoring a quick run in the first inning. Chattanooga annswered in the bottom of the frame with a Mitch Garver single.   The floodgates opened in the third inning ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)