Comptrollers Look at Henderson County Solid Waste Department for Alleged Malfeasance

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Tennessee Comptrollers have investigated the Henderson County Solid Waste Department for alleged malfeasance.

This, according to a report Comptrollers released this week.

Comptrollers initiated this investigation after Henderson County officials reported questionable transactions that Solid Waste Office employees made.

“Our investigation determined that during the period July 1, 2016, through November 30, 2018, Grimes Recycling Center paid HCSW at least $8,640 for scrap metal. HCSW did not record these proceeds in their accounting records. Investigators determined that HCSW remitted $6,401 of these proceeds to the county trustee from the sales of the scrap metal to Grimes Recycling Center, leaving an unaccounted balance of $2,239,” Comptrollers wrote in their report.

“Investigators interviewed current and former employees regarding the unaccounted funds during this timeframe. Due to the inadequate HCSW accounting records, investigators could not determine the status of the remaining $2,239. Also, due to the lack of records at Grimes Recycling Center and inadequate records at HCSW, the amount of sales and unaccounted funds could be higher. It should be noted that the recycling vendor normally paid HCSW in cash for scrap metal.”

Inmates incarcerated at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department worked as part of a litter grant program under the supervision of HCSW employees, the report went on to say.

“Our investigation determined that during the period July 1, 2016 through November 30, 2018, inmates were permitted by HCSW employees to retain proceeds for their personal use from the sales of scrap metal and aluminum cans collected while policing county roads,” Comptrollers said.

“Proceeds from the sale of recyclables are local revenues and should be administered as any other local revenue per section 8-24-103, Tennessee Code Annotated, which provides that all funds earned by HCSW should be reported to the county trustee monthly. Investigators were unable to determine how much money the inmates received from these sales due to inadequate records.”

Henderson County Solid Waste employees issued receipts for tire and commercial waste disposal. However, the employees did not issue receipts for all transactions involving the sale of recyclable materials, such as scrap metal and cardboard, Comptrollers said.

The results of the investigation were communicated with the Office of the District Attorney General of the 26th Judicial District., Comptrollers said.

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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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