3 Knoxville employees fired, 1 retires in ghost-employee scheme

Knoxville civic auditorium_55968

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Four people are no longer in their positions at the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum after a Knoxville Police Department investigation that discovered $4,800 in financial irregularities.

Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum General Manager Dale Dunn retired Thursday. Assistant General Manager Robert Sandoval, Stage Manager Tom Kelly and Financial Analyst Salina Garrett were terminated.

According to the investigation, Sandoval used a false name to submit payment records for working events at the coliseum while also being paid to work as a salaried employee. The city of Knoxville said Dunn and Kelly signed the forms and Garrett submitted the paperwork, all knowing that Sandoval was paid additional money by a third party for working the shifts.

The city of Knoxville said there were no city funds lost in the scheme and there is no indication that Dunn, Kelly or Garrett benefited financially.

Sandoval is a member of the International Alliance Theatrical Stage Employees union. Knoxville police discovered Sandoval submitted a form with his fake name to the City to be paid for the event, while sending two copies of the same form to the union that reflected his real name.

The investigation by police also revealed an oversight by the City’s Public Assembly Facilities Development, which oversees the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum. However, Public Assembly Facilities Director Greg MacKay said the city has already worked to implement safeguards.

“We’ve taken extra steps to enhance accountability,” Mackay said. “We’ve changed how the form is reviewed and processed to prevent this from recurring.”

With four employees gone, Mackay also said he does not think the changes will not impact events at the coliseum. “The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum will continue to offer entertaining and well-managed events,” said Mackay.  “Changes in management will not affect the experience of fans who will be cheering on the Ice Bears or families who will be enjoying ‘Disney on Ice’ or any other upcoming events.”Copyright 2015 WATE. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss