There’s been a significant drop in how much money is missing from local governments in Tennessee, but the total amount is still in the six figure range.
An annual report from the state comptroller’s office shows that more than 213-thousand dollars were stolen or mishandled in the fiscal year that ended last June. That’s down from more than 700-thousand the year before, and is the lowest amount reported since the start of the economic downturn. But there’s still a long way to go to get to pre-recession levels. The latest figure is ten times larger than the one announced in 2008.
The report details stories behind the missing money, like the Anderson County Mayor who plead guilty to sales tax fraud or the court officer in Coffee County who was paid for 80 hour work weeks while on sick leave. In several counties there are similar stories of solid waste department employees taking scrap metal from the trash, selling it on the private market, and pocketing the money.
The report also shows how much is still left to be paid back from cases that were discovered in previous years. If you add it all up across Tennessee, that outstanding balance stands at 736-thousand dollars.