Audit: Former Gibson Police Chief Disobeyed Tennessee Law on Seized Vehicles

Gibson’s former police chief did not follow state law when it came to seized vehicles, and he may not have worked the hours he said he worked, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released Friday.

The former chief, unnamed in the audit, did not make sure members of his department followed state law as they seized other people’s vehicles, auditors wrote.

They failed to obtain a forfeiture warrant and failed to list the legal and factual basis that made the vehicle subject to forfeiture, signed by a judge. They also failed to file seizure forms with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and negotiate and enter settlement agreements for the return of the vehicles to the owners, according to the audit.

Failure to follow state law, auditors went on to say, could expose the town to various fines and fees.

Auditors also scolded town officials for failing to property return, dispose of, or monitor storage costs of certain impounded vehicles at a private storage lot, which “incurred a substantial bill for storage fees.”

Auditors also said the former police chief may not have worked the hours he reported on his time cards.

“His signed time cards indicated he was working 40 or more hours per week,” according to the audit.

“The investigators found that, in addition to his position with the Town, he was a full-time teacher at Milan High School in Gibson County, including serving as an assistant football coach at that school.”

The same police chief also failed to property register the town’s driver education course, auditors said.

“In exchange for dismissing a traffic citation, eligible traffic offenders could pay the Town a $50 fee plus court costs, and attend a driver education course,” according to the audit.

The former police chief failed to follow state law by doing this, auditors wrote, adding this could expose Gibson to more fines and fees and even the ability to have a driver education course.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Gibson City Hall” by Google







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