Tennessee Comptrollers reported that Kingston’s former Parks and Recreation director used public money to make “personal, questionable, and undocumented purchases” totaling more than $19,000.
This, according to an audit that Comptrollers released this month.
Kingston is in Roane County.
The audit did not identify the former Parks and Recreation director by name. Current Director Chase Clem told The Tennessee Star this week that he had no comment on the matter.
Comptrollers said that the former director utilized three bank accounts for fees, sponsorships, and donations. City officials did not maintain these accounts. The former director had sole control of the three accounts and a debit card tied to these accounts between 2016 through 2019, according to an emailed Comptroller press release.
“Some of the questionable purchases included charges at grocery stores, sporting goods stores, a tobacco store, and other retailers paid without detailed invoices to document that the goods and/or services benefitted the Parks and Recreation Department. The amount also includes personal purchases from Amazon and a fishing store; gift cards purchased with city funds; checks issued directly to the former director; and cash withheld from deposits,” according to Comptrollers.
“The former director told investigators that these purchases and transactions were legitimate; however, he could not provide any documentation to support those claims. The former Parks and Recreation Department director resigned from his position in January 2019. The results of the investigation have been communicated with the District Attorney General of the Ninth Judicial District.”
Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower said in the press release that the former director’s use of three bank accounts outside of the city’s control allowed him to bypass the city’s budgetary and purchasing procedures.
“The city should ensure its internal controls are strong enough to prevent misappropriation,” Mumpower said.
“Needless to say, we recommend these three accounts be closed immediately.”
Through this program, the city offers volleyball, flag football, girls’ softball, aquatics, and sports camps, according to the audit.
– – –