CELINA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three employees of the Celina Wastewater Treatment Plant stand accused of misusing public funds after an investigation from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

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

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Investigators reportedly determined the current plant supervisor, a retired supervisor and a current plant employee used city resources, including time, chemicals, the laboratory and equipment, to perform water sample testing and analyses for their private business.

The employees were paid $10,847.52 by the city for time used that went toward their private businesses. Additionally, the value of the the lab usage was totaled at $10,898.04 for private use billed to the City of Celina.

From January of 2014 through November of 2020, the employees generated $277,875 for their private businesses, often while working on city time and using plant equipment.

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

The results of the investigation have been communicated with the District Attorney General for the 13th District, Bryant C. Dunaway.

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“Our investigators have recommend that Celina officials take steps to improve supervision and oversight of wastewater plant employees,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “It’s also important for the city to properly enforce its personnel policies regarding outside employment and adhere to federal law regarding limits on compensatory time.”