Report: Smith County Library Director Cheated Taxpayers

Smith County Library
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Tennessee Comptrollers have called out the director of the Smith County Library in Carthage for taking money from taxpayers for working hours she, in fact, did not work.

She got away with it because her supervisors weren’t watching her all that closely, auditors said.

State Comptrollers released their audit Friday.

County taxpayers lost $331.55 for time the library director did not work, according to the audit.

That may seem like a paltry sum of money compared to other instances of government waste, fraud and abuse across the state.

But $331.55 is the only loss Comptrollers could prove, and they said it’s likely the library director took off far more time than that.

No one at the Smith County Library was available to talk Sunday.

“Our investigation revealed two instances in which the library director was not working on Wednesday when auditors and officials requested to speak with the library director,” Comptrollers wrote.

“In those two instances, we were able to document the library director submitted time sheets reflecting that she had worked on those days she was not at the library.”

Comptrollers said they interviewed other library employees for this report.

“Our interviews with library employees indicated that the library director was consistently not working at the library on Wednesdays,” according to the audit.

“However, we could not determine the total number of days the library director was paid for time not worked.”

The library director told auditors she was often away at doctors’ visits on Wednesdays and “didn’t always reflect when she took leave for sick or vacation time.”

“The library director also advised that although her time sheets did not reflect actual time worked that she had in fact worked 32 hours per week,” auditors wrote.

“However, she could not provide documentation to support her actual time worked. Therefore, we could not determine the total number of days the library director was paid for time not worked or the accuracy of her time sheets.”

Members of the county library board, auditors went on to say, did not exercise the necessary oversight over the director and how she handled her job.

Library board members have since fired the director, the audit said.

She made $35,307.63 per year for working 32 hours per week for full-time employee status and benefits, according to the audit.

The county’s estimated cost of benefits for this employee for the period examined, including leave and retirement, totaled $12,734.47.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]








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