Tennessee Comptrollers Find Fault, Yet Again, with Crockett County Government

 

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of April Hicks, a former bookkeeper in the Crockett County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

This, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.

“Hicks stole at least $35,533.84 from the clerk’s office between July 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019, the date she voluntarily left the employment of the office,” according to a Comptroller’s press release.

“Investigators determined that Hicks used at least two methods to steal money. She failed to deposit $25,415.84 in money that was collected by the clerk’s office. She also voided receipts in the office’s accounting software totaling an additional $10,118. This made it appear that the money had not been received, when in fact it had been collected.”

Hicks was indicted this month by the Crockett County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000, five counts of official misconduct, and three counts of destruction of and tampering with governmental records, the press release went on to say.

“A number of internal control weaknesses within the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office made it possible for this theft to occur,” the press release quoted Comptroller Justin P. Wilson as saying.

“The bookkeeper was given sole responsibility over too many of the office’s financial processes. The office also had issues with bank statement reconciliations, depositing funds within three days of collection, and sharing usernames and passwords.”

Comptrollers released similar findings about Crockett County a year ago this week, as The Tennessee Star reported at the time.

At that time, Comptrollers said the former technology director for the Crockett County School Department used taxpayer money to buy electronic equipment for either his own personal use or to sell for profit.

Because of this, the school system had a cash shortage of more than $114,000, Tennessee Comptrollers said in a press release.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Crockett County Courthouse” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 4.0.

 

 

 

 

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