BEAN STATION, Tenn. (WJHL) – A former East Tennessee police chief has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $2,000 from the police department’s special revenue drug fund.
According to a release from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, former Bean Station Police Chief Stephen Kitts pleaded guilty on January 20 to theft over $1,000.
The release says an investigation by the comptroller’s office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found that Kitts had stolen at least $1,830 from the fund between November 1, 2018 and January 31, 2020.
“Kitts used confidential drug funds to pay personal bills” and altered police forms to make it appear as if the money had been used in confidential drug buys that never occurred, according to the release.
Investigators say Kitts admitted to both the theft and the concealment efforts.
“The money in Bean Station’s special revenue drug fund may only be used for drug treatment programs, local drug education programs, local drug enforcement programs, and nonrecurring general law enforcement expenditures,” the release states.
Kitts resigned from his position as police chief on February 11, 2020 and reimbursed the town for the full $1,830.
“There are specific procedures that all county and municipal governments with drug funds must follow,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower in the release. “In this case, the police department failed to document payments to confidential informants, maintain adequate transaction logs, maintain proper confidential informant files, and deposit seized funds within three days of seizure.”
You can review the entire investigation by clicking here.