by Vivian Jones
Two former employees of the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) collected more than $10,500 in pay for hours they did not work between 2016 and 2019, an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office found.
Utilities board officials reported questionable compensation of two employees – an engineering associate and a student worker – prompting an investigation by the state comptroller.
Investigators from the comptroller’s office reviewed time sheets, schedules, calendars and badge records. They found the two employees reported more time on their timesheets than they actually worked. The engineering associate reported working 365 more hours than he had worked, collecting $7,854. The student worker reported working 196 hours more than actually worked, collecting $2,741.
Both employees since have repaid the agency for the unworked hours, and both left the agency in 2019.
“While KUB supervisors took the appropriate step of signing the time sheets for these employees, they should have also reviewed for accuracy,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said in a statement. “Time sheets should only reflect the actual time worked. By not performing a careful review, a risk of improper payments is created.”
According to the comptroller’s report, KUB management has increased oversight of employee work hours and attendance.
Results of the investigation were shared with the Knox County Attorney General’s office, the comptroller report said.
The Knoxville Utilities Board provides electric, water, gas and wastewater service in Knox County and surrounding counties.
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Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.
Photo “Knoxville Skyline” by Nathan C. Fortner. CC BY-SA 3.0.