Former Carroll County Volunteer Fire Chief and Wife Indicted for Theft
An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictments of William and Malisa Smith, who served respectively as the fire chief and treasurer for the Carroll County Volunteer Fire Department District 8 – Mixie station.
Comptroller investigators determined the Smiths stole at least $30,150.86 from the volunteer fire department beginning in April 2014 until they resigned in March 2020.
The Smiths misappropriated the money from the department’s bank account and from a separate credit union account.
The Smiths made unauthorized debit card transactions, check disbursements, and cash withdrawals. These included purchases at various retail stores; personal lodging and travel expenses; payments for food and alcohol; fuel purchases; and payments for various personal services. Department members confirmed the transactions did not benefit the department.
Investigators interviewed the Smiths in February 2023. The Smiths admitted they made personal transactions with fire department funds.
Based upon this investigation, in May 2023, the Carroll County Grand Jury indicted both William and Malisa Smith on one count of theft of property over $10,000, and one count of fraudulent use of a debit card over $10,000.
“The former fire chief and treasurer had exclusive control over the department’s bank accounts,” said Comptroller Mumpower. “In addition to separating financial duties, an independent person should also review the department’s bank account activities to ensure that funds are properly spent.”
To view the investigative report, go to tncot.cc/doireports. To view a map depicting Comptroller investigations, go to tncot.cc/mappinginvestigations.
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. Follow us on twitter @TNCOT and Instagram @tncot.
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