Dickson Co. audit shows school official was paid unapproved federal funds

The audit also showed inmates stole money from the county, and the school system exceeded its cafeteria funding budget.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:26 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The annual audit of the Dickson County government found lack of internal controls and noncompliance with rules, according to the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

According to a media release, three of the comptroller’s findings were related to Dickson County Schools. Notably, the county’s director of schools was paid nearly $14,000 from federal grant money. This money was not part of his contractual agreement with the board of education, the release said, and it was not approved by the board during the fiscal year.

The audit also found Dickson County Schools also failed to ensure its money on deposit at the bank was adequately collateralized to prevent potential loss. The comptroller said the school system also exceeded its approved cafeteria funds by more than $110,000.

Auditors also reported the Office of Solid Waste was short $2,000 cash. The landfill director noticed a missing deposit on the monthly bank statement. However, the director did not have a receipt and the bank did not have a record of the money being deposited.

The fifth finding was related to the Office of County Clerk, which failed to properly secure a deposit totaling more than $3,000, according to the comptroller’s report. The money was left unsecured in a separate room in the office. Investigators determined that inmates assigned to help move items in the office had stolen the funds, the release said. The entire amount was recovered and deposited into the bank.

“We believe Dickson County should consider adopting a central system of accounting, budgeting, and purchasing,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower in a news release. “This would bring the school department’s budget and finance function into a central office with the county and highway department’s finance operations. A centralized office can significantly improve accountability and the quality of services provided to citizens.”

To view all Tennessee audit reports, click here.