Investigation Questions Food and Alcohol Purchases by Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police
Investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office have examined the operations of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP), a nonprofit organization that receives more than half of its funding from governmental sources.
The investigation focused on TACP’s activities from January 2017 through December 2021. During this time, TACP’s day-to-day operations were managed by a former executive director who resigned on March 18, 2022.
Comptroller investigators noted questionable credit card transactions totaling $63,923.74. Many of these transactions lacked documentation or proper approvals and appeared to have no TACP related purpose or were made in violation of TACP’s purchasing policy. The questionable credit card purchases include:
- Food and alcohol totaling $23,763.74 for TACP’s bi-monthly meetings and annual conferences. Investigators question whether government funds were used to purchase these items. Vendor sponsorship payments for food and alcohol purchases were less than the totals spent on these items.
- Meals totaling $15,217.66. Investigators noted 243 occasions where a TACP credit card was used to purchase either individual or group meals ranging from fast-food chains to upscale restaurants.
- Purchases of gifts and gift cards totaling $14,411.24.
- Gasoline for personal vehicles totaling $796.57.
- Other miscellaneous purchases totaling $9,734.53 that were not supported with itemized receipts or invoices.
Investigators also found the former executive director had a potential conflict of interest by simultaneously working as a registered lobbyist for another nonprofit that provides insurance coverage to Tennessee municipalities.
The former executive director continued to work as a lobbyist for the outside organization after she was instructed by TACP’s Executive Board to stop, and in violation of her employment agreement. Investigators determined she also used TACP computer devices and its email account while performing outside lobbying activities during normal TACP business hours.
The results of the investigation have been communicated to the Office of the District Attorney General of the 20th Judicial District.
“TACP’s Executive Board has a responsibility to provide adequate oversight of the organization and its staff,” said Comptroller Mumpower. “The board should ensure the organization is following its policies concerning check signing and credit cards as well as revisit its official policy on the funding of hospitality suites.”
To view the investigative report, go to tncot.cc/doireports. To view a map depicting Comptroller investigations, go to tncot.cc/mappinginvestigations.
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.
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