LIVINGSTON, Tenn. (WKRN) – An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, has uncovered several issues within the Livingston Police Department.
According to a release from the Comptroller’s Office, at least $27,000 in seized cash was missing from department evidence. Furthermore, the police chief, evidence custodian, and former captain had access to the evidence room during the period of investigation. Both the evidence custodian and former captain claimed they had, at times, “borrowed” cash for personal purchases and would later pay back the “borrowed” funds.
The police department was also cited for poor security, inaccurate evidence records, and improper storage of evidence. In one instance, an inmate trustee got access to the evidence room.
Officials say the investigation revealed the Livingston police chief knew of evidence-related issues in the fall of 2019, but did not take inventory of the evidence room until February 22, 2021. The chief also did not report illegal conduct to the Comptroller’s Office as required by the state. Instead, town officials reported the allegations of misappropriated seized cash to the Comptroller’s Office on March 4, 2021.
Investigators also determined the police department’s drug fund was misused. Specifically, the police chief improperly deposited nearly $353,000 into the drug fund that had been obtained by selling various department vehicles. Officials say these are not permitted drug fund revenues under state law. Additionally, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted in favor of selling the equipment and the improper placement of the proceeds into the drug fund.
The police chief also improperly received over $41,700 in reimbursements from the drug fund, including travel reimbursements and reimbursements for meals he bought for inmates. Officials say these reimbursements should have been paid for using the town’s general fund.
“This report underscores the importance of good record keeping and security procedures for law enforcement evidence,” said Comptroller Mumpower. “Because the police chief failed to safeguard evidence room access and establish a periodic inventory of evidence, investigators were unable to locate at least $27,000 of missing cash.”
The full report can be found below.
The results of the investigation have also been shared with the Office of the District Attorney General of the 13th Judicial District.