Hawkins County Emergency Response Team Leader Pleads Guilty to Theft | WJHL

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tennessee (WJHL) – An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has led to the arrest of an emergency response team leader in Hawkins County.

A statement says Michael Thacker has pleaded guilty to theft over $ 2,500, one count of debit card fraud and one count of counterfeiting.

The charges stem from an investigation that accuses Thacker of stealing at least $ 7,076.50 from the Hawkins County Emergency Response Team (HCERT) between January 2017 and January 2021.

The purchases included unauthorized cash withdrawals, personal fuel purchases, cash back, jewelry for a family member, and an HCERT check spent for personal use. Investigators have determined that Thacker also signed another person’s name on that check without his knowledge.

Thacker stepped down from the HCERT board in August 2021, the statement revealed, and he is ordered to pay the agency compensation.

“Our investigators also discovered a number of flaws in the financial operations of HCERT which allowed the theft to go undetected,” Controller Jason Mumpower said. “HCERT needs to do a better job of keeping receipts, establishing controls over fuel purchases, keeping its accounting records and reconciling bank accounts. We also found that the HCERT did not require two signatures on checks and did not properly track fundraisers. I am happy to note that HCERT is taking action to correct these issues.

The full investigation report can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

If you suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of public funds in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s Office at 800-232-5454 or file a report HERE.

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