Former Fentress County Deputy Used Fuel Card for Nearly $10,000 on Personal Vehicle, Audit Says

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Authorities have indicted a former Fentress County Sheriff’s Department deputy for allegedly using nearly $9,000 of taxpayer money to fuel his personal vehicle using his county-authorized fuel credit card.

Tennessee Comptrollers identified the deputy as Johnny Dishman.

“At least one witness saw Dishman fueling his personal vehicle at the Co-op, yet Dishman did not have a personal account with the Co-op at the time. Investigators analyzed his fuel purchase activity from January 1, 2017 through March 13, 2020,” according to Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower’s audit.

“Furthermore, investigators compared Dishman’s fuel purchases in 2019 with the fuel purchases of three randomly selected full-time patrol deputies. Investigators noted Dishman did not live far from the sheriff’s department, so his commute to and from home would not significantly impact a comparison with other deputies. Dishman’s fuel purchases totaled considerably higher than his peers; he spent $2,964.72 more than the average amount spent by the three randomly selected deputies.”

According to the audit, Dishman said he started using his county fuel credit card at the Co-op to buy fuel for his personal vehicle a couple of years ago. Auditors said he continued to do so until his supervisors placed him on administrative leave in March 2020. The report also said Dishman could not accurately estimate how often he fueled his personal vehicle nor did he keep the receipts from his purchases.

Dishman formally resigned in June of last year, the audit said.

Members of the Fentress County Grand Jury this month indicted Dishman on one count of official misconduct, one count of theft more than $2,500, and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Comptrollers said they questioned whether a deputy would need to consistently fuel his patrol vehicle two or more times per day while on duty.

“A review of the three randomly selected full-time deputies’ fuel purchases activity revealed the deputies generally re-fueled once per day while on duty,” auditors wrote.

“Dishman stated, however, that generally he would need to fill up his patrol vehicle more than once a day while on duty– sometimes twice a day, sometimes three times a day. Investigators also took into consideration the rural nature of Fentress County.”

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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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