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."


Man Wanted In Bradley County Arrested In Washington, D.C.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office was informed by the Washington, D.C. Police Department that El Hadji Alpha Madiou Toure was arrested for his involvement in a first-degree murder in Washington, D.C. Further investigation by detectives determined the male had several aliases which include Elie Brown and Elhadji Alpha Madiou Toure, who is wanted by the agency for an outstanding ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Seeks ID Of Woman In Fraud Case

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman who used stolen bank account information and a fake ID to rip off nearly $2,000 from a couple in Texas. The transaction was recorded on a bank’s surveillance system. The crime was reported to Dalton investigators on March 23,  by Regions Bank’s security division. The crime occurred in late ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)

Central's Parrott Throttles Ooltewah With 1-Hit Shutout

Ooltewah looked like it was still on spring break. Central was sharp, Brooke Parrott dazzling, Mikayla Gill swung the bat well and the Lady Pounders played like an unbeaten, once-tied ballclub. Parrott threw a one-hit shutout – the hit was a wind-blown pop on the infield – and Gill slapped a two-run double off Kayla Boseman to right-center field in the third inning and ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Thumps Bledsoe Co., 11-1

The Notre Dame baseball team was in a race of a different kind Monday evening and the Fighting Irish came out on top in all three categories. Facing the Bledsoe County Warriors at Notre Dame’s Hunter Field, the Irish beat the rain, they got finished before dark and most importantly, beat the Warriors 11-1 in five innings as they improved to 4-2 overall with the same record in ... (click for more)