A New Johnsonville elementary school teacher took a total of $11,527.41 from Lakeview Elementary School and a youth basketball league, an investigation conducted by the Comptroller’s Office in cooperation with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has concluded.
The investigation revealed the art teacher used a school Wal-Mart credit card for personal use. The teacher purchased a variety of items including alcoholic beverages, clothing, food, cosmetics, iPad, DVDs, and an Xbox membership. The charges on the credit card totaled $8,982.77. The teacher admitted she used the card for personal purchases, and subsequently resigned her employment with Lakeview Elementary. It should be noted the teacher repaid $1,780.
The Comptroller’s Office also discovered the teacher had access to a debit card for a community K-8 basketball league known as the Vision League. It was determined the teacher misappropriated $2,544.64 from the league by making cash withdrawals, and purchasing clothing, alcoholic beverages, and making payments on personal debt. The teacher also admitted to using league funds for personal purchases.
Investigators recommend the Humphreys County School Board adopt a credit card policy for individual schools and implement checks and balances to ensure the policy is followed. Administrators should require receipts for all purchases and match those receipts to billing statements.
“It is troubling any time we discover that public funds have been misspent, but the situation is especially egregious when it involves our children,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “I am confident the Humphrey’s County School Board will take steps to prevent this type of behavior in the future.”
To view the report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/.
Anyone who suspects fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800 232-4343, or file a report online at: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/shared/safwa.asp. Follow the Comptroller’s Office on twitter: @TNCOT.