Former Knox County Chief of Staff Indicted
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of former Knox County Chief of Staff Bryan Hair on one count of official misconduct.
Comptroller investigators determined that Hair used a county-owned golf cart at his home between May and October 2020. This violates the county’s ethics policy, which prohibits the private use of public property.
The golf cart was purchased by the county’s Parks and Recreation Department for $3,700 on May 21, 2020. Hair acknowledged the golf cart was used for personal purposes.
Investigators also revealed that Knox County parks and recreation employees worked on private property during work hours using county assets. These instances included the following:
· In June 2020, two employees stated they used a county truck to move a playground set from a neighbor’s home to Hair’s residence during county work hours.
· An employee stated that he worked on vehicles belonging to the former Parks and Recreation Senior Director and his family members in a county maintenance shop.
· Two employees told investigators they were instructed to travel to Claiborne County in July 2020, during work hours, to cut up a tree on property that belonged to the former Parks and Recreation Senior Director’s relative.
· Two employees told investigators that in May 2020 they used county chainsaws during work hours to cut down a tree on a county employee’s private property outside the county.
Bryan Hair resigned from his position as chief of staff on October 18, 2020. Knox County terminated the former Parks and Recreation Senior Director’s employment effective October 19, 2020.
On December 15, 2020, one Knox County Parks and Recreation employee’s employment was terminated, and another employee was disciplined for performing work on private properties during work hours using county equipment.
This investigation was initiated after Knox County officials reported questionable transactions.
“Our investigators have recommended that Knox County take additional steps to shore up its parks and rec operations,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “These include keeping an accurate inventory of its equipment and tools and ensuring that all time records reflect the actual time worked. I’m pleased to note that Knox County is already addressing these issues.”
To view the investigative report, go to: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/investigations/find.html
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: tncot.cc/fraud. Follow us on twitter @TNCOT and Instagram @tncot
Media contact: John Dunn, Director of Communications, 615.401.7755 or email@example.com