Celina, TN employees used city resources for private businesses, comptroller says

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CELINA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three workers at the Celina Wastewater Treatment Plant are charged with embezzling public funds after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

The investigation began after a former Celina mayor identified and reported “questionable invoices” found at the factory, according to the comptroller.

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Investigators reportedly determined that the current plant supervisor, a retired supervisor and a current plant employee were using city resources, including time, chemicals, lab and equipment, to perform water sample testing and analysis for their private company.

The employees were paid $10,847.52 by the city for time used that went to their private companies. Additionally, the value of the use of the lab amounted to $10,898.04 for private use billed to the City of Celina.

From January 2014 to November 2020, employees generated $277,875 for their private companies, often working city hours and using factory equipment.

Additionally, investigators are looking at the compensatory time (comp) accrued by the three individuals as well as the $15,328.69 in compensatory time payments made to the current supervisor and plant employee.

The survey results were disclosed to the District Attorney General for the 13th District, Bryant C. Dunaway.

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“Our investigators have recommended that Celina officials take steps to improve supervision and monitoring of sewage plant employees,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “It’s also important that the city properly enforces its personnel policies regarding outside employment and adheres to federal law regarding time-off limits.”


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