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TN Comptroller's Office audits Jamestown finances, says city recorder received some unauthorized paychecks

In an audit report, the Tennessee Comptroller's Office said the city recorder received some paychecks despite there being no time records for the hours claimed.
City of Jamestown watertower

JAMESTOWN, Tenn. — The Tennessee Comptroller's Office said it appeared the city recorder for Jamestown may have received paychecks for some time she did not work and may have used federal money to pay the debts of a family member.

It released its findings in an audit report. In the report, they said the city recorder got four additional paychecks in October and December of 2020. They said the paychecks were allegedly for comp time accrued during March through May 2020 and August 2020.

However, they said there were no time records kept for the hours the city recorder claimed, and the report says no comp time was recorded on the employee leave report for the year.

They also said the city recorder received eight paychecks which included overtimes hours but were paid at a regular time. Two paychecks were also issued to the city recorder for a "buyout" of annual leave, the report says.

However, they said the checks were issued before the anniversary date of her employment, which is required by Jamestown's municipal code.

The report also found that a city employee related to the city recorder transferred $325 in federal housing assistance funds to their personal account.

The City of Jamestown took some corrective actions after the audit report was released. The city said it approved a third signer who can sign off on paychecks if the mayor or the city recorder is not available.

They also said they updated their policies to specify that employees who need to be paid for additional time need to be turned into the head cashier by 12 p.m. on Mondays. Department heads then review and approve overtime, and works with the payroll clerk to ensure comp time is correct.

In the audit report, city officials said they felt the paycheck issues associated with the city recorder could have been a result of misinterpreting the city's policies. Part of the confusion could have been a result of comp time approved by Jamestown's acting mayor during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also said city officials will work to make sure money from housing assistance funds go to the correct person and said any money that is not used will be returned to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program's Cookeville office. They also asked a local office to reach out to the Cookeville office to make sure their list of clients is up to date.

   

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