Former Tennessee State Museum Employee Uses Scheme To Take Thousands

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A new investigative report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury reveals that a former administrative services assistant with the Tennessee State Museum took $61,892.04 in taxpayer money. The Comptroller’s Office worked with the chief investigator from the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General to complete its investigation.

In February, investigators began to identify a cash shortage created by the former administrative services assistant. Investigators discovered the employee used a scheme to falsify 26 invoices and submit them for payment to her personal account. The employee used her role as a processor of purchase orders and requisitions to create phony invoices for historical artifacts. The employee admitted to creating the false invoices and submitting them for payment with photocopies of her supervisor’s signature. These payments totaled $49,476.97.

Investigators also discovered the employee used a rental car for 15 months, and billed $12,415.97 to the Tennessee State Museum. The employee admitted she improperly charged the rental fees to the museum after her personal car broke down. Her employment has been terminated.

Investigators determined the administrative services assistant was a convicted felon on parole for a theft of property over $60,000. Museum officials were not aware of her conviction at the time she was hired in April 2011. The former employee was originally hired by Adecco USA in November 2008 to provide temporary and contract employment to other state agencies. The employee disclosed three prior convictions on her Adecco USA application. The Museum Commission is taking steps to require background checks on all future employees.

Investigators recommend the Tennessee State Museum reconcile purchases with inventory records on a monthly basis. Errors can remain undiscovered without proper review.

“The Tennessee State Museum helps preserve, protect and share our state’s fascinating history,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “We must also protect taxpayer dollars to ensure the continued success of this institution.”

To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/.

Anyone who suspects fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, should call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800 232-4343, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow the Comptroller’s Office on twitter: @TNCOT


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For April 22-28

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for April 22-28: Mark Brannan Sangalang, 28, of 114 Van Cleve Street #6, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested April 22 on charges of entering auto and fugitive from justice. Travis Knight Johnson, 24, of 114 Van Cleve Street #10, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested April 22 on a charge of criminal attempt. Brandin Allen Russell, 28, of 106 ... (click for more)

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)

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)

Shrum, Gautier Win Communities In Schools 5K

Ryan Shrum and Jan Gautier may still be recovering from the Boston Marathon 12 days ago, but that didn’t keep them from winning overall titles in the 18 th Annual Communities In Schools 5K in Ringgold Saturday morning. The race, a circular 3.1-mile route that was somewhat flat, but included a few challenging climbs, was sponsored by First Volunteer Bank with proceeds benefitting ... (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)