Meg Backus Resigns, Nate Hill Suspended After Critical Report On Library Travel

Friday, September 5, 2014

One Chattanooga Library official has resigned after a critical report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top library personnel.

Meg Backus, systems administrator, has left the library.

Nate Hill, assistant library director, has been suspended.

Corrine Hill, executive director, said she has paid back any travel overcharges and will reform travel policies.

Ms. Hill said she took full responsibility for the travel issues.

She said in the future the library will follow the city's travel policies.

The Sewell report says, "Both individuals were paid by the Chattanooga Public Library while working for other entities as a consultant or speaker (without reporting leave to the Library).

Ms. Backus acknowledged submitting false time records, deleted relevant information after it was requested by the auditor and made false statements to the auditors. Mr. Hill had supervisory responsibility for Ms. Backus and failed to report substantial amounts of leave himself. In addition, Mr. Hill received duplicate reimbursements for travel (one from the Library and one from Friends of the Library).

The probe began after the City’s Hotline "received multiple reports of wasteful activity and abuses by several employees of the Chattanooga Public Library."

The report found unreported vacation leave by Executive Director Corrine Hill, Mr. Hill, Ms. Backus, and Ms. Barnett of 48, 120, 68 and 9 hours, respectively.

It says Mr. Hill and Ms. Backus went on paid speaking trips without taking personal time from the library.

The investigation found "double reimbursement claimed by Ms. Hill on a trip to Denmark (she claimed actual hotel expenses and also claimed a per diem amount for hotel expense) resulting in an overpayment to her of $972. In addition, Ms. Hill received the per diem for meals at 100% of the reimbursement rate on her travel dates to and from Singapore resulting in an overpayment of $74.50."

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARRERA, JAVIER ZAVALA  2715 WOODSIDE STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- BROWNFIELD, STEVEN DERRICK  185 AZALEA AVE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Trustee Asks Use Of Funds From Clinic Sale To Obtain DISH Funds

The trustee for Hutcheson Medical Center is asking to use proceeds from the sale of the Chickamauga Clinic in order to help obtain Disproportionate Share (DISH) funds from the state of Georgia. Trustee Ronald Glass said, in order to get $1,138,159 in DISH funds, the hospital must transfer $369,333 through the Hospital Authority of Catoosa, Walker and Dade Counties. He noted ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)

UTC Rallies to Top Arkansas State, 55-54

Just call ‘em the comeback kids, and kids – i.e. young ladies – who are plenty thankful for a win on Thanksgiving Eve. For the second time in three games, the UTC Mocs (4-2) rallied for a win as they handed previously unbeaten Arkansas State (3-1), 55-54, its first loss of the young season in McKenzie Arena Wednesday night before 1,189 fans. Down by as many as 17 (44-27) ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)