Former Carter County teacher charged with stealing money from Unaka High School program


A former Carter County Technical Education teacher has been charged with stealing money from Unaka High School’s meat processing program.

According to court documents, John-Claude Hardin was indicted on July 8, 2019, with Theft of Property over $1,000, official misconduct and six counts of forgery.

According to a release from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, the investigation was done in conjunction with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office after school officials found cash shortages.

According to the comptroller’s report, the CTE department at Unaka High School operated a meat processing program which allowed customers to bring livestock to be slaughtered. Customers paid a fee for this service.

The school also raised cattle on a farm.

Investigators found Hardin stole at least $1,865 between November 2017 and November 2018.

According to the comptroller’s office, Hardin is accused of keeping cash paid to the school for meat processing. That money totaled $1,229.

Hardin is also accused of selling a steer from the school farm at a livestock auction. Investigators determined he kept the $636 from the transaction.

According to the release, Hardin attempted to hide what he did by altering receipts and creating false documents.

He resigned from Carter County Schools on November 30, 2018.

“Although school officials first alerted investigators to this activity, more could have been done to detect this situation,” Comptroller Justin Wilson said. “School officials should always carefully review receipts and reconcile them with the money deposited. I’m pleased to note that school leaders have corrected or intend to correct this weakness.”

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