Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18,2015 SWB Committee To Recommend Rodefer Moss as New SWB Auditor Replacing Craine-Thompson-Jones

Three Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Board members (Bob Garrett, Doe Jarvis, and Tom Rush) met this morning and reviewed proposals for auditing services from three CPA firms.

The members rated each proposal and decided to recommend that the full board approve Rodefer Moss as the new SWB auditor--replacing longtime local auditor Craine-Thompson-Jones.

The recommendation will apparently go to the full board for action at its meeting tomorrow at 9 AM at the Health Department.

For a brief history of the SWB saga and theft of over $220,000 by its former director Ronnie Brady, click here, here, and here.

June 18, 2015 Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Board Theft and Trip to Disney World Comes in Third Place in Beacon Pork Contest

Hamblen/Morristown former landfill director Ronnie Brady's theft of over $220,000.00 from the local Solid Waste Board garnered third place in a "government pork" poll by the Beacon Center.

Click here for the poll results.

Brady's theft was beaten out for the top "pork" spot by the transfer of $165,000,000.00 of taxpayer dollars to VW in Chattanooga and the $46,000.00 spent by Governor Haslam to come up with a new state "logo."

Brady's theft was accomplished primarily by issuing LOTS of "extra" solid waste payroll checks to himself and also using solid waste funds to pay his personal bills.

The theft went undetected for at least 3-1/2 years even though there was a nine-member board with oversight duties, even though the SWB was audited every year, and even though SWB chairman Stancil Ford was supposed to physically sign or personally stamp his signature on checks along with Brady's signature.

Most businesses and governmental entities require TWO signatures on all checks to try to prevent exactly what happened at the solid waste board.

Ford, however, was not personally signing or personally stamping the "extra" checks. Ford apparently had given Brady access to Ford's signature stamp which, of course, defeated the whole purpose of having two signatures on checks.

After all, it's not really a "check and balance" against potential theft when one person (Brady) can sign his signature to checks and can also stamp the signature of the other person (Ford) on the checks.

Giving someone your signature stamp or access to your signature stamp opens the bank door for theft. 

And the door to the SWB bank account was left wide open by Stancil Ford failing to physically sign SWB checks or at least go and use HIS signature stamp on the checks HIMSELF.

Maybe Stancil deserves an "assist" in helping Ronnie Brady win 3rd place in the Beacon pork and waste (and theft) contest!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 16, 2015 Solid Waste Board Receives Three Proposals for Auditing Services--Current Auditor Craine-Thompson-Jones Doesn't Submit a Proposal

The Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Board received auditing proposals from three auditing firms on June 15, 2015. Two were Knoxville firms and one was from Johnson City.

Longtime local Solid Waste auditor Craine-Thompson-Jones did not submit a proposal.

SWB Chairman Tony Cox discussed reviewing SWB professional contracts (auditing, legal, and engineering) at an Executive Committee meeting back in February 2015. Executive Committee members appointed by Cox are Cox, Keith Jackson, and ex officio (non-voting member) County Mayor Bill Brittain. 

SWB member Doe Jarvis proposed soliciting qualifications from auditing firms at the May 2015 SWB meeting and pointedly criticized the local auditors for failing to catch the theft of over $220,000 by SWB Director Ronnie Brady.  Click here and here.

You can see the opening of proposals here:

By newspaper notice last night, it was stated that the Audit Committee will review the proposals tomorrow at the SWB Office on Sublett Road at 10 AM and make a recommendation to the full board at the SWB meeting on Friday, June 19, at 9 AM at the Health Department building.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

June 4, 2015 Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson: Stancil Ford Violated Tennessee Law (TCA 12-4-101)

Tennessee's conflict of interest laws are weak in many areas. However, they are crystal clear in one area--elected officials, committee members, and those holding similar supervisory positions can't supervise themselves.

Now let's look at Stancil Ford and the Hamblen County/Morristown Solid Waste Board (SWB).  

In February 2014, former SWB Landfill Director Ronnie Brady resigned amid allegations of theft from the SWB. Brady was indicted in March 2015 on charges of theft over $60,000. The Tennessee Comptroller's Office put the theft at almost $228,000.

Following Brady's resignation, the SWB named one of its own--SWB member Stancil Ford--as interim landfill director. Ford served as interim landfill director and later as an "assistant" interim landfill director up through May 30, 2014. Ford remained on the Board during that entire time. Ford received about $8800 during the 3-1/2 month period that he was interim director, "assistant" interim director, and a member and Chairman of the SWB.

On April 29, 2015, Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson informed the SWB that Ford had a statutory conflict of interest in serving on the SWB and serving as SWB landfill director/assistant director. Ford violated TCA 12-4-101.

[Ford is a sitting county commissioner. He was also the State Representative for Hamblen County for many years until his defeat in 2002.]