$27,000 Missing from Livingston Police Department Evidence Room
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, has found numerous issues within the Livingston Police Department.
Notably, at least $27,000 in seized cash was missing from department evidence. The police chief, evidence custodian, and a former captain had access to the evidence room during the period of the investigation. Both the evidence custodian and the former captain stated they had, at times, “borrowed” cash for personal purchases and would later pay back the “borrowed” funds.
Investigators also cited instances of poor security, inaccurate evidence records, and improper storage of evidence. In one instance, an inmate trustee gained access to the evidence room.
The investigation revealed the Livingston police chief had knowledge of evidence-related issues in the Fall of 2019; however, he did not perform an inventory of the evidence room until February 22, 2021. The chief did not report unlawful conduct to the Comptroller’s Office as required by state statute. Instead, town officials reported the allegations of misappropriated seized cash to the Comptroller’s Office on March 4, 2021.
Furthermore, investigators determined the department’s drug fund was misused. Specifically, the police chief improperly deposited at least $352,906.53 into the drug fund that had been derived from the sale of various department vehicles. These are not permitted drug fund revenues under state law. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen also voted in favor of selling the equipment and the improper placement of the proceeds into the drug fund.
Additionally, the chief improperly received $41,781.69 in reimbursements from the drug fund. These included travel reimbursements and reimbursements for meals he purchased for inmates. These reimbursements should have been paid from the town’s General Fund.
The results of this investigation have been communicated to the Office of the District Attorney General of the 13th Judicial District.
“This report underscores the importance of good record keeping and security procedures for law enforcement evidence,” said Comptroller Mumpower. “Because the police chief failed to safeguard evidence room access and establish a periodic inventory of evidence, investigators were unable to locate at least $27,000 of missing cash.”
To view the investigative report, go to tncot.cc/doireports.
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