Grundy County Highway Department Misused County Resources
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed that the Grundy County Highway Department has been performing work on private properties and cemeteries not allowed under state law.
In one situation, the Highway Department has performed various work on an individual’s farm over approximately nine years. The Highway Superintendent has cattle on the farm. The work has included bulldozing stumps and hauling the stumps, dirt, and old tile to fill in a hollow on the farm.
More work was done on another farm which is farmed by an acquaintance of the Highway Superintendent. Highway Department employees drove a bulldozer onto the property and “cleaned up” a wooded area. Investigators could not determine if the Highway Superintendent received any compensation for the work.
Other work has been performed at various Grundy County cemeteries. The Highway Department also maintained a portion of a private road which is owned by a department employee.
State law (Section 54-7-202(d), Tennessee Code Annotated) prohibits using county equipment, supplies or materials for work outside of official county road purposes.
Comptroller investigators also noted the Highway Superintendent allows employees to work on their personal vehicles in the department garage during work hours. This activity is also prohibited by state law.
Comptroller investigators have reviewed their findings with the district attorney general for the Twelfth Judicial District.
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT
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