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☷ Clarksville Tennessee - Former City employee charged with one count of theft for more than $1 600

☷ Clarksville Tennessee - Former City employee charged with one count of theft for more than $1 600

Clarksville , state Tennessee
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   After a dual investigation by the City of Clarksville and the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury , the Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted former City Garage Administrative Support Technician Loretta Beeler Smith on April 4 , 2022 , for one count of theft over $1 , 000 .
   In 2021 , the Internal Audit Department was alerted by City staff to a discrepancy involving missing cash deposits from scrap metal sales . The Internal Audit Department and the Finance & Revenue Department immediately began an inquiry into the missing receipts . The investigation led to the discovery of additional missing cash deposits related to the sale of scrap metal .  
   The City of Clarksville referred the case to the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury , per the Local Government Instances of Fraud Reporting Act ( TCA 8 - 4 - 501 ) , which requires public officials to report the unlawful taking of public money , property , or services to the comptroller of the treasury .  
   The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office then investigated selected records of the Clarksville City Garage from Jan . 1 , 2019 , through Dec . 15 , 2021 . The results presented that Smith misappropriated funds totaling $1 , 653 by failing to remit cash proceeds from scrap metal sales and taxicab safety inspections between Nov . 5 , 2019 , through Dec . 21 , 2021 , and retained those funds for her personal benefit .
   Smith joined the City Garage in 2007 , where she worked in the parts room up until 2017 . Following this position , she became the administrative support technician , where the City entrusted her to follow the set policies and procedures for completing cash reports and capital asset information forms .
   “The City has policies to prevent this kind of criminal activity , including procedures , ” Chief Financial Officer Laurie Matta said . “Smith circumvented these procedures by taking advantage of her position and changing the processes we had in place . She took advantage of the trust and faith the City of Clarksville and our citizens had entrusted her with . ”
   Following this investigation , the Finance Department fine - tuned the City’s procedures for receiving cash deposits from scrap metal sales . Instead of collecting cash proceeds at the City Garage , the scrap disposal company will issue the City a check .
   The City of Clarksville terminated Smith’s employment on Jan . 7 , 2022 .
   “The City of Clarksville is committed to the pursuit of justice , and therefore , we set high standards for our employees and will not tolerate those who fall short of those standards , ” City Mayor Joe Pitts said . “There is nothing that destroys the public’s trust and the security of public funds than an employee ' s unlawful actions . The City of Clarksville is fortunate to have fantastic and capable Internal Audit and Finance Departments , who worked closely with the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury to ensure that justice was served and see that Ms . Smith was held accountable for her actions . ”
   

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