Tennessee Democratic Caucus Staff Member Reportedly Stole More Money Than Originally Thought

A staffer tasked with handling financial payments for the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus reportedly stole more money than originally believed — $12,000 instead of $3,000.

This, according to the Memphis-based WMC Action News 5.

As The Tennessee Star reported last month, the man accused of the theft, Derrick Tibbs, worked for State Rep. Karen Camper, D-Memphis.

At the time, officials alleged Tibbs had stolen at least $3,000, according to The Star.

But a CPA firm did an audit and discovered Tibbs took more than $12,000 by writing checks to himself, WMC Action News 5 reported.

The station reported Camper met with members of the House Democratic Caucus in Nashville to discuss the situation.

“I did probably put too much trust in him than I should have. I’ll take the hit on that,” the station quoted Camper as saying.

“I was deeply hurt and saddened because he worked for me.”

WMC went on to say Tibbs took the money from a fundraising account throughout a three-year time span.

As The Star reported, Tibbs resigned and offered to make restitution after Nashville TV station WSMV reported his alleged activities writing checks to himself.

The checks reportedly need two signatures — one from a lawmaker, the other from the House Caucus treasurer.

Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, told WSMV he found his signature on checks payable to Tibbs, but he did not sign them.

As The Star reported last month, the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus elected Camper as House minority leader for the 111th General Assembly.

The Memphis politician is the first black elected as the House Democratic leader.

Camper replaced former Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley, who left the state legislature in an unsuccessful gubernatorial run.

She has served in the House since 2008.

Camper defeated State Reps. Bo Mitchell (D-TN-50) of Nashville and Johnny Shaw (D-TN-80) of Bolivar for the job. Stewart, meanwhile, was unopposed in his re-election campaign as Democratic caucus chair. Democrats hold 26 of 99 seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Camper’s website says she previously worked for 21 years as a U.S. Army intelligence officer, is owner of Key II Entertainment and worked for seven years as a substitute teacher.

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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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