published Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Comptroller says $700,000 stolen from counties in Tennessee

NASHVILLE — A new state comptroller’s report says more than $700,000 in taxpayer funds were stolen from county governments in Tennessee during the fiscal year that ended last June 30.

Neither Hamilton County nor Bradley County were listed in the report.

Figures show a scandal involving the Marion County Election Commission, which resulted in the arrests last year of then-Marion County Elections Administrator Holly Henegar and her husband, Billy Joe, accounted for as much as 16.5 percent of the problem.

“These cases of theft are disappointing,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said in a news release. “It is particularly frustrating because many times thefts could have been avoided if the counties had better procedures for money handling and record keeping.”

Wilson such “internal controls” are “essential for government officials who want to be good stewards of their taxpayers’ money.”

The estimated $700,000 in thefts and cash shortages comes to about $7,368 per county. The state has 95 counties.

The comptroller’s report lists $21,170.93 missing from the Marion County Election Commission and another $94,823.91 from the Haletown Volunteer Fire Department where Billy Joe Henegar served as treasurer.

The comptroller’s original audit says Holly Henegar “admitted adding names to payroll certification lists for individuals who did not work, and that her husband was paid with county funds using names of relatives and friends.”

The estimated $700,000 in thefts and cash shortages comes to about $7,368 per county. The state has 95 counties.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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patriot1 said...

$7368 per county?? wow, awesome calculator skills to figure that one out

April 13, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
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