County forms audit finance committee, but committee never meets

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

NASHVILLE — Officials in one Tennessee county formed an audit committee in 2013, but committee members haven’t bothered to meet, according to an audit state Comptroller Justin Wilson released Wednesday.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the county in question, Grundy, had several problems in this year’s audit involving poor record keeping and failing to follow established policies with county money.

According to the audit, Grundy County officials only formed the audit committee as a formality to comply with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s ThreeStar Program.

State officials designed the program as a way to help counties compete for jobs and industry.

Grundy County

Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady told Tennessee Watchdog on Wednesday he became mayor last month, but he was one of the county commissioners who voted to form the audit committee in the first place.

“Unfortunately there were never any names to be appointed to that audit committee prior to June of this year, but they have never met under my knowledge,” Brady told Tennessee Watchdog.

“I’ve been in contact this morning with some of those committee members to go ahead and schedule a time to meet to make recommendations on how to address these things.”

Wilson’s audit also reported that, among several other things, county officials didn’t solicit competitive bids for more than $96,000 worth of food at the county jail.

As Wilson said, the county’s failure to put out competitive bids means the county probably paid higher than the most competitive price, costing taxpayers’ money.

Michael Brady

County officials also did not put out competitive bids for more than $91,000 worth of police patrol cars, the audit said.

Brady said the county now puts out competitive bids on food at the county jail.

“As far as police cars go, the dealership we bought the cars from was on the state bids list but they were not considered a vendor, even though we got the deal cheaper than the state bid,” Brady said.

The audit also admonished Grundy County School officials for overlooking proper procedures in a possible rush to hire current Director of Schools David Dickerson on the same day his predecessor retired.

Neither Dickerson nor a school system representative returned a call Tuesday seeking comment.

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org

Follow Tennessee Watchdog and receive regular updates through Facebook and Twitter

Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Top