Local News Articles

One Person Airlifted Following Friday Morning Accident

July 14, 2006
Dwayne Page

Five people were involved in a three vehicle accident around 9:15 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 56 north (Cookeville Highway)

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 62 year old Donna Lawson of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown, driving a 1997 GMC Jimmy, was traveling north and slowing to make a left turn into a residence at 3195 Cookeville Highway when her vehicle was rear ended by a northbound 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by 57 year old Kenneth Herman of Bessie Gribble Road, McMinnville. Herman's truck was pulling a utility trailer.

According to Trooper England, the collision caused the Lawson vehicle to cross the southbound lane and make head-on impact with a 1995 Toyota 4 Runner, driven by 44 year old James Todd of Nashville.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene to perform extrication to get Lawson out of her vehicle. She was airlifted from near the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

67 year old Dorothy Smith of Old Mill Hill Road, a passenger of the Lawson vehicle, was taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Todd was also transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Herman and a passenger of his truck, 31 year old Chris Moss of McMinnville, were not transported to the hospital. They were apparently not injured.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway and Cookeville Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and officers of the Sheriff's Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

Trooper England says the highway was closed to traffic for about two hours during the crash investigation and cleanup.

Election Commission Reports Good Turnout For Early Voting

July 14, 2006
Dwayne Page

A total of 887 people have cast ballots during the first five days of early voting.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports the following daily voting breakdown: Friday-139, Saturday-148, Monday-84, Tuesday- 131, Wednesday- 145, and Thursday- 240. These numbers also include the mail ballots received.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that early voting for the August elections will be held through July 29th.

Early voting hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse next to the election commission office.

Willoughby Updates School Board on Personnel Moves

July 15, 2006
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his written report on personnel to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed since the last meeting include Jennifer Rettig Davenport, teacher at DeKalb Middle School; Teresa Sullivan, special education assistant at DeKalb Middle School; Sabrina Kirksey, teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Bill Conger, guidance counselor at DeKalb West School; Amy Raymond, teacher at Northside Elementary School; Amy Pack, teacher at DeKalb West School; and Cynthia Preston, teacher at DeKalb West School.

Transfers include Jennifer Rice, a teacher transferred to Smithville Elementary School; Amy Fox, teacher transferred to Smithville Elementary School; Holly Espinosa, teacher transferred to Northside Elementary School; Jean Young, educational assistant transferred to DeKalb Middle School; Cathy Driver, educational assistant transferred to Northside Elementary School; Rita Leichtfuss, educational assistant transferred to Smithville Elementary School; and Julie Pugh, educational assistant transferred to DeKalb Middle School.

Three Speed Humps On West Main Street Creating Controversy

July 17, 2006
Dwayne Page

The recent installation of three speed humps on West Main Street between Juniper Lane and the four way stop at North Mountain Street has become a controversial issue for the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The city board, earlier this year at the request of several residents in the area, voted to install the speed humps as a pilot project, but since they were put down most of the aldermen say they have heard nothing but complaints from the public, who often travel the street going to and from the downtown business district.

Based on those complaints, the city board decided to re-visit the issue Monday night during it's regular board meeting.

Having learned that the matter was on the agenda for discussion, many of the residents in the neighborhood where the speed humps are located, showed up at the meeting to voice their support for the speed humps and to request that they remain in place.

No one opposed to the speed humps attended the meeting to express their views.

Residents in the neighborhood say the speed humps have been very effective in slowing traffic on a street where speeding has been a problem and the posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

Bert Driver, who lives on West Main Street, presented a petition in April signed by twenty three residents requesting the speed humps. During Monday night's meeting, Driver re-stated the reasons he says the speed humps are needed..\" The residences of historical West Main Street are gravely concerned about our safety. More importantly, we are concerned about the safety of our children and grandchildren. Motorists continually speed down our street with blatant disregard to the speed limits and caution signs (Children at Play). Many years ago, government officials recognized that West Main Street was not designed to accommodate such high rates of speed; therefore, West Broad Street was developed and continues to be the most direct and safest thoroughfare for motorists. We feel that speed humps need to be installed near the intersection of Juniper Lane and at the top of the hill near the intersection of Shady Lane. Although enforcement of speed limits by police departments is an effective means of reducing speeds, limited resources do not allow such enforcement on a regular and permanent basis. Please note that we are not in favor of flashing lights because they are ineffective and can be detrimental to the historical value of West Main Street. In brief, traffic calming measures need to be implemented now in order to protect all citizens, especially our children\".

Driver says if the speed humps are removed, the problem would only worsen, especially with the new Wal-Mart store coming soon on Broad Street. \"West Main has become a collector street because of the city's steady growth over the past ten years. As a result, many motorists use West Main as a cut through (a by pass) around the red lights on highway 56 and highway 70. This will only become more intense when the new red lights are installed on Broad Street in front of the new Wal-Mart Super Center. In brief, please leave the speed humps on West Main Street and continue to protect our right to safety and to protect the lives of our children.\"

Alderman Steve White says he is also concerned about speeding on city streets but says the problem is not just on West Main Street and that if requests start coming in for speed humps all over town, the city could be creating another problem.

In fact, residents on South College Street and Smith Road, also present for Monday night's meeting, asked that speed humps be put down on their streets.

White says he has further received requests or inquiries from residents on several other city streets about the city possibly installing speed humps in their neighborhoods.

The Mayor and Aldermen plan to schedule an informal workshop with the Police Chief to discuss the speeding problem city wide and to explore possible alternative solutions to the problem.

Alderman and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks pointed out that the police department has issued more citations for speeding within the last couple of months, since Chief Gus Clemente took over as head of the department.

Meanwhile, in other business, Mayor Taft Hendrixson re-appointed Alderman Cecil Burger as the city's representative on the Smithville Electric System Board. Anthony Hagan was appointed as a citizen member, succeeding Vester Parsley.

David Terrell was reappointed and John Daniels and George Davis were appointed to the Airport Committee and Glen Nichols, Jr. was named to the Civil Rights Committee.

All the appointments were approved by the aldermen.

In other business, the city board denied a request by Smithville Police Chief Gus Clemente to adopt a vehicle take-home policy for officers of the police department.

Alderman Aaron Meeks made a motion that the resolution be adopted, but it died for the lack of a second.

Under the proposal, each officer, who is already assigned a patrol car to drive while on duty, would have been permitted to take that cruiser home after work.

Some members of the city council had reservations about that proposal since most of the city police officers reside outside the city.

Under the proposed policy, only officers living within a 25 mile radius of the corporate city limits of the City of Smithville would have been allowed to drive the police vehicles home. All other officers would have been forced to park the vehicles at the police department headquarters.

Chief Clemente says the goals of this policy would have been to promote the security of the citizens of Smithville by greater visibility and presence of vehicles on the streets and highways; provide quicker response time to certain types of calls and therefore increase the opportunity to apprehend criminals; reduce the yearly mileage on each vehicle, therefore increasing vehicle life; reduce maintenance cost on each vehicle in the fleet; provide quicker response of off-duty personnel when called back to duty because of an emergency; provide increased incentive and morale of officers participating in the program; and maintain vehicles in top condition through preventive maintenance and personalized assignment.

Members of the council agree that the policy could have provided for quicker response time by some officers in the event of an emergency, but others argue that it would have added to the city's fuel cost and potentially increased liability.

Some also questioned how that there could be greater visibility and presence of patrol cars on city streets, when most of the city patrol cars would be outside the city, when driven home by officers who live outside the city.

First Day of School Education Celebration to be held Downtown August 4th

July 18, 2006
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Board of Education Federal Programs Supervisor Michelle Burklow along with committee members Kim Foutch, Jennifer Mitchell, Angela Johnson, Pamela Poss, Suzette Barnes, Clark Oakley, and Alan Hayes are planning a first of its kind for DeKalb County, a First Day of School Education Celebration to be held on August 4th from 5-8 P.M. downtown around the Court House Square.

This Education Celebration is nationally known as First Day of School America and is held annually in a lot of the bigger cities in the United States. Since 1997 the First Day Foundation organization has been assisting schools, families and communities to come together for a celebration on the First Day of each new school year to support education and begin a year-long partnership to promote student success. This is also a time that parents and students can become more familiar with the faculty, staff and PTO of the school that they are entering.

The community can support First Day in a number of ways. Community based organizations can provide materials and resources to parents to make them aware of services available to them in the community. Community leaders- mayors, city council members, clergy, businesses, corporate leaders and others can visit the schools and events and show their support. Local businesses partner with schools by donating products, services and volunteers to the First Day Celebration.

All five schools in DeKalb County will have a booth and will be displaying a photo board with their staff and their individual credentials during the First Day Celebration. Each school will also be represented by their school's PTO about what the PTO does and how parents can help. The Lion's Club Vision Screening van will be available that day for vision screenings, the DeKalb County Health Department will be there giving out information, Tennessee Voices for Children and many other organizations will be represented, and school bus shuttle rides will be provided(we are encouraging parents to park at Northside Elementary starting at 4:45pm. Refreshments, inflatable jumping balloons and FREE school supplies will also be available.

This event is still in the planning stages and volunteers are needed. Business sponsors are also needed. If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 215-2107.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to attend in Downtown Smithville on August 4th.

The First Day of School American-- Education Celebration committee would like to take to THANK the sponsors that are making this event possible:

Smithville Church of Christ
Tabernacle, The Baptist Church
Dowelltown Baptist Church
House of Prayer
St. Gregory's Church
Keltonburg United Methodist
Indian Creek Baptist Church
Covenant Baptist Church
Gospel LightHouse Baptist Church
Snow Hill Baptist Church
Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church
Johnson's Chapel
United Methodist Church
Peoples Missionary Baptist Church
Jacobs Pillar United Methodist Church
Smithville Seventh Day Adventist Church
Snow Hill Methodist
Grace Bible Church
New Hope Baptist Church
Walkers Chapel Primitive Baptist
Malone's Chapel Baptist Church
Alexandria Church of Christ
Salem Baptist Church

Middle Tenness Natural Gas Utility District
DeKalb Telephone
Dr. Cliff Duke DDS
Triple A Coating
Architectural Custom Cabinetry
Dr. David Foutch, OD
Tri Star Aluminum
DeKalb Community Bank
Liberty State Bank

Early Morning Fire Destroys Liberty Home

July 19, 2006
Dwayne Page

A fire early Wednesday morning destroyed the residence of Thomas Bogle at 3467 Adamson Branch Road, Liberty.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green says members of the Liberty, Short Mountain Highway, and Blue Springs Stations along with a tanker truck responded to the fire call around 1:05 a.m.

Bogle and his son, who were at home when the fire started, escaped unharmed.

Green says according to Bogle, he awoke to the smell of smoke and discovered the blaze coming from the subfloor in a hallway at the center of the house.

The blaze was protruding through the roof by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, and the home could not be saved.

Bogle says he was able to salvage some clothes and a few other personal belongings.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Sluice Gate Releases Planned at Center Hill Dam

July 20, 2006
Dwayne Page

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to take measures starting on Monday at Center Hill Dam to increase the dissolved oxygen content of releases to the Caney Fork River. This action will benefit aquatic life downstream.

Sluice gate releases will be made concurrent with generation of electricity in the hydropower plant beginning on July 24. By scheduling sluice releases during periods of power generation, the Corps will be able to meet downstream water-quality objectives and minimize impacts to fishermen and power interests. The measures are considered the best way to maintain the State water quality standard.

\"Our objective,\" said Bob Sneed, chief of the Nashville District Water Management Section, \"is to maintain beneficial dissolved oxygen levels and ultimately improve the aquatic life in the Caney Fork River. This operation was very successful last year. We were able to mix the highly aerated sluice release with turbine discharge that was, at times, quite low in dissolved oxygen, to produce a blended project release that met our goal of 6.0 milligrams per liter. We are trying to meet the State water quality standard which is 6.0 milligrams per liter for a cold-water environment like the Caney Fork below Center Hill Dam.\"

In 2005 this reach of the Caney Fork experienced the best oxygen conditions it had seen since the impoundment of Center Hill Lake. As a result, more aquatic life, including stocked brown and rainbow trout, were able to thrive during this critical period.

Officials plan to schedule discharges between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and to only two hours on Fridays, weekends and holidays. However, power needs or weather conditions could dictate a change to this plan.

Corps representatives will periodically monitor the dissolved oxygen concentration in the river below the dam to determine the success of the sluice gate releases.

The sluice gate measures four feet by six feet and releases approximately 1600 cubic feet per second into the tailwater. The Corps has added turbine venting features to three hydropower turbines at Center Hill resulting in an increase to the dissolved oxygen level of hydropower releases. The sluice gate release is simply another practice employed by the Corps to improve water quality conditions in the Caney Fork River. These actions are consistent with the Corps' Environmental Operating Principles.

These Principles are to maintain an environment in a healthy, diverse and sustainable condition necessary to support life, proactively consider the consequences of Corps programs, accept responsibility for activities under our control that impact the health of natural systems, seek ways to mitigate such impacts, and seek solutions to the nation's problems that enhance the environment.

Corps officials will work closely with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, TWRA, and SEPA which benefits from power generated. Fishermen and boaters should avoid the turbulent water created by the sluice gate below the dam. Turbulence could actually pull small craft in toward the dam and submerge them.

For more information, contact Bob Sneed, Nashville District Corps of Engineers, at 615-736-5675.

Motorcycle Rider Airlifted After Accident

July 20, 2006
Dwayne Page

A 27 year old man, operating a motorcycle, was injured around 5:18 p.m. Thursday afternoon after he rear-ended an SUV at the intersection of Highway 56 and Big Hurricane Road.

Trooper Greg Tramel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Anthony King of Illinois was taken by DeKalb EMS to the Smithville Airport where he was airlifted by a Life Flight Helicopter Ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

According to Trooper Tramel, King was north on Highway 56 on a 2003 Buell Motorcycle when he ran into a 1985 Isuzu Trooper driven by Jeremy A. Scruggs of Smithville, who was stopped on Highway 56 north waiting for the traffic to clear before making a left turn onto Big Hurricane Road. King was thrown from the motorcycle upon impact.

Scruggs was not injured.

Over 1,800 Vote To Date During Early Voting

July 21, 2006
Dwayne Page

A total of 1,855 people have cast ballots with one more day left of early voting

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports the following daily voting breakdown: Friday, July 14th -139, Saturday, July 15th -148, Monday, July 17th-84, Tuesday, July 18th- 131, Wednesday, July 19th- 145, Thursday, July 20th- 240, Friday, July 21st- 132, Saturday, July 22nd- 114, Monday, July 24th- 120, Tuesday, July 25th- 111, Wednesday, July 26th -120, Thursday, July 27th- 224, and Friday, July 28th- 147 These numbers also include the mail ballots received.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds you that early voting for the August elections will be held through July 29th.

Early voting hours will be Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon in the basement courtroom of the courthouse next to the election commission office.

State Audit Report Released On Town of Alexandria

July 21, 2006
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Comptroller's office has issued an investigative audit report on the Town of Alexandria for the period of July 1st, 2002 through October 31st, 2004

John G. Morgan, Comptroller of the Treasury for the State of Tennessee, in a letter to city officials writes, \"The audit was limited to the operations of the police department, the fire department, and the acquisition and disposal of surplus property acquired through state and federal programs. However, when warranted, this scope was expanded.\"

\"The purpose of our audit was to determine the extent of the city's compliance with certain laws and regulations.\"

\"The investigative audit revealed that the former fire chief, Eddie Tubbs, had made cash withdrawals amounting to $2,612 from a fire department bank account for no legitimate municipal purpose.\"

\"This matter was referred to the district attorney general. In April 2006, the DeKalb County Grand Jury indicted Eddie Tubbs on one count of Theft over $1,000 and one count of Official Misconduct.\"

On July 7th, Tubbs appeared before Judge Lillie Ann Sells in DeKalb County Criminal Court and was granted pre-trial diversion, a type of probation, for a period of two years in a negotiated settlement with the District Attorney General's Office. Under terms of his probation, Tubbs must make restitution to the Alexandria city government in the amount of $1,916 and perform 100 hours of community service.

Morgan writes, \"The findings and recommendations in this report also relate to those conditions that we believe warrant your attention. All responses to each of the findings and recommendations are included in the report.\"

Dennis Dycus of the State Division of Municipal Audit, in the report, states that \"Our examination also resulted in findings and recommendations related to the following:
1. Required procedures for confidential funds transactions not followed by police department
2. Apparent noncompliance with federal and state surplus property regulations
3. Inadequate control over fixed assets and other property
4. Confiscated drugs not adequately accounted for
5. Required court approval not obtained for use of confiscated property
6. Daily collection reports not prepared and deposit slips not itemized
7. Duplicate, prenumbered receipts not issued for each collection

The following is a summary of the audit report:

1. ISSUE: Unaccounted for cash and improper charges.

Town officials became aware that Don Eddie Tubbs, who at the time was an alderman and the town fire chief, had maintained an Alexandria Fire Department bank account that was not part of the town records. Officials determined that Mr. Tubbs had withdrawn $896 in cash from that account with no explanation. Town officials also found that Mr. Tubbs had apparently charged gasoline totaling $472 for his personal vehicle on the town account at Prichard's Foods. Also, officials determined that a cash collection of $170 apparently made by Mr. Tubbs was never turned over to the town for deposit into a town bank account. Officials determined that Mr. Tubbs received the benefit of $1,538 in town funds that he was not entitled to. Mr. Tubbs agreed to, and did repay the town for those funds. However, when auditors obtained more complete records of the Alexandria Fire Department bank account, they discovered that there were additional questionable cash withdrawals totaling $1,716. Therefore, the total amount of Mr. Tubbs apparently unauthorized benefits was $3,254.

During an interview with auditors, Mr. Tubbs denied using town money or credit for personal gain or benefit. He indicated that the cash withdrawals were used primarily to buy four pagers at an approximate cost of $1,600. He provided auditors with the name of the vendor and salesman who sold the town the pagers. However, when contacted by auditors, the salesman indicated his company had not sold any pagers to the Town of Alexandria during the entire year in question. Auditors were unable to substantiate any legitimate use for Mr. Tubb's cash withdrawals. Mr. Tubbs told auditors that he wanted to pay back to the town what he owed.

1. FINDING: Required procedures for confidential funds transactions not followed
by police department.

Confidential funds transactions were not always properly documented through the use of prescribed forms. Records of undercover drug fund usage were disorganized and incomplete. Auditors were unable to account for $1,392 in excess cash left over after undercover drug purchases. In addition, cash from undercover funds were used to make non-confidential purchases, including the purchase of an assault rifle, travel, and training expenses. Undercover cash should be used only for those transactions for which confidentiality is required. All non-confidential expenses should be made consistent with statutes, policies, and procedures governing the payment of normal operating expenses.

To properly account for confidential funds, such funds should be handled in accordance with the \"Procedures for Handling Cash Transactions Related to Undercover Investigative Operations of County and Municipal Drug Enforcement Programs.\"

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur. We understand the procedures for handling cash transactions related to undercover operations and drug enforcement programs and those procedures are being followed.

Police Chief:
I agree. All confidential fund transactions will be properly documented on the appropriate forms as prescribed by Tennessee Code Annotated. Any and ALL transactions will be documented on the appropriate forms as well as keeping proper receipts with names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

2. FINDING: Apparent noncompliance with federal and state surplus property

The town obtained a utility boat as surplus property from the State of Tennessee, Property Utilization Division, pursuant to Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act, as amended. When the state auditor observed the boat on town property during the course of this audit, there were no registration numbers or other tags or marks to identify ownership of the boat. Although the former mayor and the former police chief both offered to auditors anticipated uses for the boat, those uses did not serve a present need for law enforcement activities at the time it was obtained. After it was determined that the boat had not been used for law enforcement activities, the boat was returned to the state Property Utilization Division. An agreement between the town and the State of Tennessee, Property Utilization Division, dated June 12, 2003, spells out the conditions the town must meet when obtaining surplus property. The contract states, in part: Property available under this agreement is for the use of authorized program participants; not for speculative or possible future use. Property may not be obtained for the purpose of sale, lease, rent, exchange, barter, to secure a loan or to otherwise supplement
normal budgets. It appears that the town obtained property through this program for which it had no immediate need.

In order to remain eligible to participate in the surplus property program, the town should comply with all provisions of their agreement with the Property Utilization Division.

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur with the recommendation above.

Police Chief:
I agree. The Alexandria Police Department will only obtain vehicles and/or property for which there is an immediate need.

3. FINDING: Inadequate control over fixed assets and other property.

Officials did not require adequate internal control over the municipality's fixed assets and high-risk, moveable property. The municipality obtained items such as vehicles, cameras, bayonets, a telescope, and refrigerator-freezers from federal and state surplus property
programs. However, the former recorder did not maintain complete, updated records of such items. The municipality did sell items at auction, including vehicles. However, accounting records were often not available to determine which vehicles were sold, to whom those vehicles were sold, and the selling price of the individual item. Many of these items were not permanently marked to indicate the municipality's ownership. Because some items purchased from state and federal surplus property programs lacked serial numbers or other unique identifying characteristics, auditors were unable to conclude that all such property was accounted for. In addition, the municipality's files did not include documentation of an annual physical inventory.

To better control and account for individual fixed assets and high-risk, moveable property, the recorder should maintain complete, updated records of those items in accordance with the Internal Control and Compliance Manual for Tennessee Municipalities. Officials should require that each of the items is permanently marked or tagged to indicate the municipality's ownership. When surplus property is disposed of, complete, accurate records documenting that disposal should be maintained. In addition, officials should require that an annual physical inventory of the fixed assets and of the high-risk, moveable property is performed and documented.

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur with the recommendation and since we have a different person in the office and also a city recorder, we're sure the recommendation will be followed.

I concur with the recommendation. It will be followed.

4. FINDING: Confiscated drugs not adequately accounted for.

The police department maintained custody of drugs and drug paraphernalia seized
pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated. However, the Department did not follow the procedures set forth in state statutes for the disposal of those items. In addition, the police department did not follow procedures required by Tennessee Rules of Evidence. Our investigative audit revealed that the former police chief did not maintain a complete, updated inventory of evidence. Evidence was not adequately labeled. Auditors found that several items of controlled drug evidence were kept in a file cabinet in the former police chief's office and that records were insufficient to determine the disposition of several drug items seized as evidence. Finally, applicable seized drugs and drug paraphernalia were not destroyed annually as required by state law.

To comply with state statutes and to alleviate the responsibility for safeguarding property not needed as evidence, the police chief should ensure the annual inventory and destruction of applicable seized drugs and drug paraphernalia. Procedures set forth in Section 53-11-451, Tennessee Code Annotated, should be followed for the disposal of such property. All drug evidence should be adequately tagged or marked and stored in a secure place with restricted access.

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We agree with the above recommendation. Since the city has a new police chief, things of this matter have been taken care of. The police chief keeps accurate records.

Police Chief:
I agree. All evidence shall be properly tagged and a chain of custody will be kept. All evidence will be secured in a double-locked closet and locker whereas I have the only keys. Evidence will be disposed of in accordance with the state laws.

5. FINDING: Required court approval not obtained for use of confiscated property.

Auditors noted that the former police chief apparently combined confiscated marijuana from several drug seizures into one large, unlabeled bag of marijuana. The police chief stated that the marijuana was to be used in a controlled drug sale. However, auditors could not locate any documentation to support this assertion. Auditors were also unable to determine that all this marijuana was accounted for. In addition, the police department failed to obtain the required court order prior to using seized property in the drug
enforcement program. Tennessee Code Annotated, requires that the police department obtain permission from the court of jurisdiction to use seized property in the drug enforcement program.

Findings and Recommendations

The police chief should ensure that all confiscated drugs are adequately accounted for. In addition, the police department should obtain court approval prior to using any confiscated property.

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:
We concur. We understand the police chief we have now is doing everything according to the books. He seems to have everything in order to the best of our knowledge.

Police Chief:
I agree. All confiscated drugs will be accounted for and drugs used for any police department activities will only be done with prior court approval and be well documented.

6. FINDING: Daily collection reports not prepared and deposit slips not itemized.

The former recorder did not prepare daily collection reports summarizing the amount and source of all cash collected each day. In addition, deposit slips did not always list each check included in the deposit.

To better account for collections, each day the cashier should prepare a detailed report of that day's total collections and the source of those collections. To help document that all collections are deposited intact, the totals of each daily collection report, corresponding Town of Alexandria
prenumbered receipts, and related bank deposit should agree. Municipal personnel should itemize deposit slips and list each check separately.

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:

We concur. The city clerk is doing everything correctly now with daily collection reports, prenumbered receipts, and bank deposits that all agree. She's doing a great job trying her best to do everything correctly.

I concur. Daily collection reports, prenumbered receipts, and itemized deposit slips are now being used.

7. FINDING: Duplicate, prenumbered receipts not issued for each collection.

Municipal employees or officials who received collections for the municipality did not issue a duplicate, prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue including collections for the drug fund.

To better account for all revenue, the employee or official who receives collections should issue a duplicate, prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue. The duplicate receipt should provide adequate details to identify the revenue.

Findings and Recommendations

Mayor and Members of the Board of Aldermen:

We concur and this is being taken care of. All money coming into the municipality is being issued a duplicate prenumbered receipt for each source of revenue. All record from what source.

I concur. We have prenumbered receipts that are issued for all money coming into the municipality and also for each source of revenue.


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