Former county mayor, employees indicted on theft charges

News release from state comptroller’s office

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the investigator from the 24th Judicial District, has released an investigation related to several former Decatur County employees and former County Mayor Michael Smith.

Investigators determined that former County Mayor Smith paid himself $15,750 without authorization from the Board of County Commissioners. Smith chose not to participate in the county’s health insurance program, and paid himself for the county’s portion of what his health insurance premiums would have been.

Investigators also found that several former county employees received a total of $38,511.51 that they were not entitled to. These employees were paid for a variety of compensatory, vacation, and holiday time that they did not earn.

A complete breakdown of the amounts received by each individual is included in the Comptroller’s investigative report.

On September 19, 2017, the Decatur County Grand Jury returned 30 indictments charging eight people on a variety of offenses. These individuals are listed below.

·         Michael Smith, former County Mayor – 1 count of theft over $10,000, 7 counts of theft over $1,000, 5 counts of criminal responsibility for conduct of another, 5 counts of forgery

·         Doris H. Smith, former County Mayor’s wife and office bookkeeper – 1 count of theft over $1,000

·         Martha Graves, former County Mayor’s Office secretary – 1 count of theft over $1,000

·         Robert W. Haynes, former County Director of Solid Waste – 1 count of theft over $1,000

·         James Kevin Cagle, former County Director of Emergency Management Agency – 1 count of theft over $1,000

·         Mark R. Hayes, former County Director of Emergency Medical Services – 1 count of theft over $1,000

·         William Scott Cagle, former Chief Deputy – 2 counts of theft over $1,000, 2 counts of forgery

·         Pamela Brasher, former Jail Administrator – 2 counts of theft over $1,000, 1 count of forgery

“Decatur County officials should take steps to improve their payroll processes,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “All time sheets or time cards must be reviewed and approved, and the Sheriff’s Department should not use a rubber signature stamp to approve time reports. Without proper review, the risks of improper payments increase.”

Note: The full audit is HERE.

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