Audit: Johnson County School Officials Used Resources for Personal Gain

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Johnson County School System employees used taxpayer-funded resources no one else had to benefit themselves, according to an audit the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office released Wednesday.

“Management allowed employees at the school department’s transportation garage to use the facility to work on their personal vehicles and other vehicles for personal gain,” Comptrollers wrote in the audit.

“Based on interviews with department employees, we determined that the employees performed maintenance on their vehicles after normal working hours with parts and supplies purportedly purchased with their personal funds. In addition, school department employees informed us that management allowed them to use school department vehicles, machinery, and tools for personal use.”

Former and current department employees, the audit went on to say, admitted to using department-owned lawnmowers and tools for personal use.

“In one instance during normal working hours, a school transportation supervisor had a school department employee deliver a load of old shingles from the supervisor’s home to the county transfer station using a department-owned dump truck,” Comptrollers wrote.

“The supervisor borrowed the department’s dump truck over the weekend for personal use while having his home roof repaired. The supervisor stated the employee needed the dump truck the following Monday morning to retrieve a load of rock for a bus turnaround, and he had the employee dump the shingles at the transfer station while en route to the rock quarry.”

Even though Comptrollers dated the audit Dec. 5 of this year, auditors first told school system officials about their findings two years ago said County Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox.

School system employees felt like they had these resources at their disposal due to what Simcox said was “an unspoken rule.”

“There was nothing illegal or unethical going on,” Simcox said.

Auditors, nevertheless, said they sent their findings to the district attorney general for the First Judicial District.

Simcox told The Tennessee Star these events occurred under the previous director of schools and are not occurring anymore.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.
Photo “Johnson County Courthouse” by Brian Stansberry. 

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