Former Anderson County Schools Employee Stole More Than $23,000
Image Credit: Steven Depolo / CC
By John Dunn –
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, working in conjunction with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, has resulted in the indictment of Heather Heatherly, a former office assistant in Anderson County School’s Office of Student Services. Heatherly stole at least $23,311.
Investigators reviewed records from February 2018 through December 2019 after school officials reported unauthorized purchases were charged to a school purchasing card (P-card).
The Office of Student Services uses school funds to purchase food, clothing, and minor household items for students in need. Heatherly purchased the necessary items and began paying for the items using a VISA P-Card in February 2018.
Heatherly used the P-card to make unauthorized purchases totaling at least $23,311 including purses, watches, and other personal items for her own use, enjoyment, and benefit.
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To conceal these misappropriations, Heatherly altered invoices to hide the description of the items and her personal residence as the shipping address. She also used an unauthorized ink stamp to place the Office of Student Services’ director’s signature on purchasing documents.
Heatherly was suspended without pay from her employment with the school system on January 7, 2020. Her employment was terminated on May 18, 2020.
Investigators are also questioning an additional $16,288 in purchases made with the P-card that were not authorized by the office director. Investigators could not determine whether these purchases were used exclusively for the benefit of Anderson County Schools.
In February 2022, Heather Heatherly was indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000.
“Our investigators noted that Anderson County Schools must take additional steps to safeguard school funds,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “These steps include carefully reviewing purchasing documentation including purchase orders, invoices, and partial delivery reports. I’m pleased to note that Anderson County School officials are already taking steps to correct these deficiencies.”
To view the investigative report, go to: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/investigations/find.html
If you suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800.232.5454, or file a report online at: tncot.cc/fraud.
About the Author: John Dunn is the Director of Communications for the office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.