The former assistant adult sports coordinator for the Williamson County Parks and Recreation stole more than $7,600 from that department over a two-and-a-half-year span, according to an audit released Tuesday.
In their report, members of the Tennessee Comptrollers’ Office called out Daniel Lawson as the culprit. That money belonged to the county’s adult softball league program, the audit said.
The Tennessee Star attempted to reach Lawson through his personal Facebook page Tuesday, but he did not return our message before day’s end.
The investigation began after WCPR officials found a discrepancy and reported missing money.
For reasons unspecified, their investigation took them straight to Lawson.
“Lawson failed to turn over money he collected from patrons as payment for softball league registration and out-of-county fees,” according to a press release.
“In several instances, Lawson met patrons at an offsite location and collected cash or checks naming him as the payee. Lawson should have remitted these funds for deposit into the WCPR bank account. Instead, he kept the money for his personal benefit.”
Lawson, the release went on to say, also altered WCPR computer records to hide what he did.
All of this took place between January 2015 and August of last year, according to the audit.
When confronted, Lawson admitted to taking the money without permission.
This month, Williamson County grand jurors indicted Lawson on one count of theft over $2,500 but under $10,000 and one count of official misconduct.
County Mayor Rogers Anderson told The Star that Lawson no longer works for the county.
“We have let him know that we are aggressively pursuing all of the money back to be refunded to us,” Anderson said.
“We have annual audits every single year, and we spot check several of our departments,” Anderson said.
“I don’t think that there’s any safeguard that is 100 percent effective when you put them in, and often times we try to do go to great lengths to minimize this. This is the first theft we’ve had in several years.”
Auditors, though, said WCPR officials didn’t have enough accountability measures in place to stop Lawson.
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