ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The mayor of Ashland City was arrested Tuesday morning on multiple offenses, according to jail records.
Mayor Steve Allen, 68, was taken into custody Tuesday morning just before 9 a.m. Allen has been indicted on three counts of felony official misconduct.
Investigators say Allen used a town-owned lawnmower for his personal benefit three times during the spring of 2020. Allen told investigators he used the lawnmower because his personal lawnmower was being repaired.
Surveillance cameras around town captured Allen during two of the three incidents. The footage also shows Allen towing a town-owned trailer to haul the lawnmower as he left the Public Works/Utilities Building. Video also shows him at the town public works facility in August 2021 when he authorized the use of town equipment and personnel to repair his personal lawnmower tire.
Ashland City policy prohibits the authorization of use of town property for “private gain or advantage to oneself.” The policy also prohibits town employees from having tools or equipment in their possession unless they are acting in their capacity as town employees.
Investigators say they are also questioning nearly $3,300 in food purchases Allen made using a town credit card. He reportedly made 75 questionable meal purchases and failed to provide supporting documentation for 27 of them. Allen was instructed by a town official to only use the credit card for town business. However, he subsequently began taking multiple people for meals purportedly for business purposes.
“It’s important for local governments to have clear policies surrounding a variety of activities,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “Our investigators recommend that Ashland City have written polices over the use of credit cards and business-related meals. A lack of policies contributes to an increased risk of improper and questionable uses of public funds.”
Mayor Allen posted bond and was released nearly 45 minutes after being booked. He was previously elected to serve a four-year term, ending in December of 2023.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.