State and MPD investigating $60,000 embezzlement at Maryville High School

Maryville police released today that they are investigating a former employee of the Maryville school system after the state comptrollers office found evidence that more than $60,000 was embezzled from the high school between June 2005 and June of 2006.

Rene Brison, audit manager with the State of Tennessee Comptrollers Office, contacted the Maryville Police Department in December 2006 to report a theft of property by embezzlement. Brison said the office had been contacted by the finance director of the Maryville City Schools in June of 2006 and requested an audit because some funds were missing from June of 2005 to June of 2006.

According to the Maryville Police Department offense report, "Brison advised that their audit did reveal that funds were missing from Maryville High School, totaling over $60,000."

Maryville police Chief Tony Crisp said the State Comptrollers Office contacted him in early December 2006 and said that they were doing auditing work and that there was a possible embezzlement going on at the high school. "Later on we met with them again, myself and members of the investigative staff, and looked at records. We asked for certain records to be sent to us," Crisp said. Crisp's office began the investigation when they received the requested reports and completed the offense report this week.

"We were still sifting though the documents and came to the point where we made an open and active case," he said. "We certainly are continuing our investigation, and certainly we feel like a crime has been committed. Our investigation is moving forward, and we think we’ll bring closure some time in near future."

Maryville City Schools director Dr. Mike Dalton said his office hasn’t received a report from the State Comptrollers Office yet. Anytime a school system has a question arise concerning financial matters, they are required to contact the Comptrollers Office and they determine whether there is a problem.

"That what we did last summer at the high school. We had an employee we felt had not followed proper procedure, and I asked the Comptrollers Off to investigate that," Dalton said. "I assume that’s what this is referring to, but we haven’t received a report yet."

The name of the employee was not listed on the police report. The individual was fired from the Maryville City School system following the 2006 school year.

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