Town of Unicoi Leaders address Comptroller’s Report

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Leaders of the Town of Unicoi met for the first time since the release of a state report that called out town management. 

The investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office came after allegations of made against leaders in the Town of Unicoi.

That investigation report was issued just last week, but town leaders didn’t bring it up at their meeting Monday night, instead they spoke privately with News Channel 11.

“Mistakes were made primarily in accounting and how certain things were handled,” said Lois Shultz, Town Attorney.

The comptroller’s office said “a lack of management oversight contributed to payroll deficiencies” and “deficiencies related to credit card purchases.”

The comptroller’s report claims a former town recorder and current employee received discounted rates for their spouses medical and dental insurance.

“He actually deducted from his pay part of that cost, but he didn’t deduct enough because he misread that off of the states website,” Schulz said.

Another finding in the investigation, what the comptroller called a “lack of management oversight” that led to deficiencies related to credit card purchases.

The comptroller said some purchases were made without adequate supporting documentations. The comptroller called out more than four thousand dollars spent on food and drinks, because there wasn’t proof they were used for business. The mayor says all items were for community events.

“The credit card purchases were simply because the receipts were not turned in the right way,”said Johnny Lynch, Mayor of the Town of Unicoi.

Town officials also allowed Davis herself to participate in a state pension plan, although she was ineligible. Davis said she’s been removed from the retirement plan and is now considered an official part-time employee.

The town attorney says the town’s recorder, who was at the center of the insurance issues has resigned.

The comptroller’s office says the results of the report have been forwarded to Governor Bill Lee, State Lawmakers, and the District Attorney’s Office.

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