Investigation reveals problems within town of Oakland

Investigation reveals problems within town of Oakland

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has raised several questions about payments, policies and use of property within the Town of Oakland in Fayette County.

Investigators found the former town recorder received a compensatory time payment totaling $45,006.01 at the end of her employment with the town. This payment was made in violation of town policy. Furthermore, the validity of the 1,532.01 hours of accrued compensatory could not be verified.

Additionally, Comptroller investigators determined the mayor of Oakland is using town owned property to conduct his full-time private sector job. The mayor has held this job throughout his term of office and works both his private sector job and performs his duties as mayor out of his city hall office. Investigators noted the mayor is frequently out of town and unavailable to town employees during the day.

The investigation also found the town of Oakland entered into business with a private company to upgrade the town’s information systems. The company charged the town $52,172.29 over a ten month period. It appears the company was directed to invoice the town in a manner that would help circumvent the town’s purchasing policies. Purchases exceeding $10,000 are required to be competitively bid. Investigators found no evidence that the work was bid as required.

The findings and recommendations in the investigative report have been reviewed with the district attorney general for the Twenty-fifth Judicial District.

“In addition to the issues noted above, our investigators also found numerous accounting and administrative problems within the town’s operations,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “I encourage the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to address each of these issues to improve accountability.”

To view the investigative report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/

Story courtesy of the Tennessee Comptrollers Office

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