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State: Coach, teacher used school fuel card for dozens of gas-ups, trips to SC, Fla.

The allegations are contained in a new indictment and investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office.

A former Unicoi County school teacher and coach is charged with using a school gas card to buy more than $10,000 in fuel for personal use, including trips in South Carolina and Florida.

A grand jury last week indicted Travis L. Griffith with a single count of theft over $10,000.

The theft with the "Fuelman" card is alleged to have occurred from June 2015 through Oct. 2, 2020, a Comptroller's Office report states.

Griffith was a middle school teacher and assistant baseball coach. He was allowed as part of his duties as a coach to use a school gas card to buy fuel for a school system, diesel-powered vehicle.

"Each employee ( who uses a fuel card) receives a unique fuel card and unique personal identification number (PIN)," according to the Comptroller's Office.

The state investigation found he used the school gas card for personal purchases at least 169 times. 

The investigation found school system officials failed to adequately review monthly fuel invoices for gas card purchases.

"Without the authority or knowledge of school officials, Griffith used the department fuel card to purchase gasoline for his personal vehicle, including purchases in Orangeburg, S.C., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla.," a state investigative report states. 

He resigned in October 2020.