Former Church Hill Court Clerk Stole Cash from the CityMayor also investigated for improper use of city personnel and assets
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Stacy Mayes, the former court clerk for the City of Church Hill in Hawkins County.
The investigation determined that Mayes stole at least $2,941 in cash collections from the city in 2021. In most instances, she concealed her misappropriation by using the same official receipt for multiple transactions. The receipts in her receipt book included a white copy as well as yellow and/or pink carbon copies. Mayes’ scheme involved using the white copy for one transaction and then using the various copies as receipts for different transactions.
For example, Mayes issued receipt #101954 for two collections: a $3.00 cash copy fee which was deposited into a city bank account (pink copy), and a $150.00 cash traffic citation fee which was misappropriated by Mayes and used for her personal benefit (white copy).
At least two prenumbered receipt books were also missing, which created a high risk that additional collections were misappropriated.
Investigators also discovered $192 was missing from the court clerk’s office in city hall; however, because multiple people had access to the cash, investigators could not determine who was responsible for the missing money.
Stacy Mayes left the employment of the court clerk’s office in November 2021. Based upon this investigation, in August 2022, the Hawkins County Grand Jury indicted her on one count of theft over $2,500.
The investigative report also notes the Church Hill mayor misused city personnel and assets. For example, the mayor and employees used city equipment, the maintenance shop, and city time to work on the mayor’s personal vehicles. The mayor also used the city’s chainsaw and pressure washer, and he obtained weed killer from the city for his personal use.
“This investigative report includes a number of operational, purchasing, and payroll deficiencies,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “The city must take steps to ensure it is retaining adequate documentation for purchases, securing cash, and providing the necessary oversight to ensure policies are followed and city property is safeguarded.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org