As of June 30, 2011, county government officials across Tennessee had not recovered nearly three quarters of a million dollars stolen from their coffers.
Details about the missing money are available in the Tennessee State Comptroller’s annual cash shortage report, which was released this week.
Information about the cash shortages was compiled from the annual financial reports and special reports for the 89 Tennessee counties that are regularly audited by the Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Audit and the six counties audited by private accounting firms.
More than $213,000 in missing county funds was identified during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012.
The report details how much money was stolen from each county, as well as a description of when the thefts were discovered, how the thefts occurred, how much money has been successfully recovered and legal action taken against those responsible for the thefts.
CannonCountyhad a shortage of $37,259.22. That money was stolen from the Cannon County REACH After-school Program by its former director, Angela King.
King has pled guilty to the theft. She is scheduled for sentencing in Cannon County Circuit Court on Thursday, June 28.
The county’s insurance company, Woodbury Insurance Agency, has agreed to repay the $37,259.22, County Executive Mike Gannon said Friday.
The special audit conducted by the Comptroller’s Office which uncovered King’s criminal activity cost the county $25,000. Gannon said he has asked County Attorney Mike Corley to look into whether that money can be recouped by filing a civil lawsuit against King.
Gannon said the insurance company will have the option of suing King in an attempt to recover all or part of the $37,259.22.
“These thefts are a reminder that local government officials need to be vigilant about the potential that taxpayer dollars can be stolen,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “The best safeguard against theft of public funds is the use of proper accounting and bookkeeping techniques. Quite often, county government officials believe there’s no way theft would occur within their organizations – then they are shocked when it does. As the old expression goes, ‘trust, but verify.’”
The cash shortage report can be viewed online at: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/repository/CA/2011/Cash%20Shortage%20Report%202011.pdf