County inmates gain from scrap metal

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed that Claiborne County inmates and sheriff’s litter patrol officers received $23,763.18 in cash from selling scrap metal.

Investigators reviewed records from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018; however, sheriff’s litter patrol officers and inmates told investigators it was a long-established practice for the litter patrol to collect scrap metal and sell it to buy inmates lunches, snacks, drinks, and tobacco products.

State law requires that payments for scrap metal sold by a governmental entity be made by check or money order to the governmental entity and mailed to the business address of the governmental entity.

The failure to follow state law has resulted in lost revenue for the county.

The Comptroller’s Office has reviewed its investigation with the district attorney general for the Eight Judicial District and the district attorney general pro tem for the Thirteenth Judicial District.

The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office is currently depositing checks from the sale of scrap metal with the county trustee.

To view the investigative report, go to: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/investigations/find.html