Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Morris indicted
The former manager of the cafeteria at Patriot Academy in Dandridge has been indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury on theft and official misconduct charges. An audit by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury found that from November 1, 2018 through March 6, 2019, the school’s cafeteria manager, Christina Morris, misappropriated daily cash collections totaling at least $1,660.75. In early March 2019, county and school department officials determined through their reconciliation procedures that numerous cafeteria collections were not promptly deposited. On March 6, 2019, school department officials visited with Morris at the school and requested to see all outstanding deposits. At that time, Morris could only provide coins and checks for the outstanding deposits dating back to February 20, 2019. All paper money for this period was missing. When officials confronted Morris on March 6, 2019, Morris removed $157 cash from her personal billfold and gave it to officials to be deposited; however, $1,503.75 in cash was still missing from the outstanding deposits. Officials immediately placed Morris on administrative leave and escorted her off school property. Later that day, Morris withdrew $1,520 from her personal bank account, which was the amount she believed was missing, and brought the funds to school officials to be deposited. Morris told investigators she began to use cash from cafeteria collections for her personal use in late November 2018 or early December 2018 due to personal and financial issues. During the period investigated, Morris failed to consistently make deposits within three days of the collection as required by Tennessee law. “The cafeteria manager was given too much responsibility over the financial process within her school’s cafeteria,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “She not only received and counted the money collected, but she also prepared and delivered deposits to the bank, and she reconciled recorded collections with the bank deposits. These duties should be separated between at least two people.” School officials say they have now corrected the deficiencies.

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

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