The Town of Mason’s former public works superintendent, Christopher Lee Trimble, has been indicted by the Tipton County Grand Jury for official misconduct and theft over $60,000 after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
From January 2007 through his resignation in March 2015, Trimble received unauthorized compensation of $602,865.40. This money included overtime payments, sale of his vacation and sick time back to the town, and unauthorized holiday pay.
During this period, Trimble often claimed that he was working 112 hours per week, and indicated that he never took vacation or sick days. The former and current Board of Mayor and Aldermen told investigators they were unaware of the overtime that Trimble claimed, and time sheets made available for inspection were not signed by the mayor or a designated alderman. Trimble admitted to investigators that he did not work all of the hours claimed on his time sheets.
Investigators also raised concerns about payments made to an outside consultant that were never approved by the Board of Mayor and Alderman.
The investigative report also describes numerous deficiencies in the Town of Mason’s accounting practices. These include failing to maintain current records, failing to make prompt deposits, and filing delinquent taxes with the Internal Revenue Service.
“This investigation underscores the importance of oversight,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “At a minimum, all employee timesheets should be signed and reviewed. The Board of Mayor and Alderman must establish proper checks and balances to safeguard the people’s money.”
To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/