Former Adamsville Employee Allegedly Used Taxpayer Money on Himself in Panama City, Florida

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A former City of Adamsville Public Works employee allegedly stole a city-issued fuel card and spent it on himself, including during a visit to Florida, according to a new audit from Tennessee Comptrollers.

A McNairy County grand jury indicted that man, Joseph Knight, this month, according to a press release Comptrollers put out Wednesday.

Comptroller’s began investigating after city officials reported questionable transactions on the city’s Fuelman card reports, the press release said.

“Investigators determined that Knight removed a Fuelman card from a decommissioned public works truck, and used the card and pin number of another city employee, to make personal purchases totaling $1,480.02,” according to Comptrollers’ press release.

“A total of 60 purchases were made between January 2018 and September 2018, including one purchase in Panama City Beach, Florida.”

The City of Adamsville terminated Knight’s employment in September of last year.

In a statement, Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson said city officials should have kept better tabs on what city employees do with fuel cards.

“This theft went undetected for several months because fuel purchase receipts were not being collected and reviewed each month,” Wilson said.

According to the audit, city officials did not reconcile monthly Fleet Management Reports with fuel purchase receipts for each assigned city vehicle in a timely manner.

Officials also failed to collect fuel purchase receipts from employees each month in a timely manner. That meant reconciliations were not performed on a current basis.

Wilson said the City of Adamsville has now corrected this issue.

The City of Adamsville is located at the crossroads of Highway 64 and Highway 22 in Southwest Tennessee, three miles from the Tennessee River in McNairy County.

The city government consists of a city commission composed of a mayor and four commissioners. Elections are held every two years in October for the mayor and commissioners who serve four-year staggered terms. Also, the city employs a full-time administrator who oversees general day-to-day operations of the city’s business, according to the audit.

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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 “Adamsville City Hall” by Adamsville, Tennessee. 

 

 

 

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