Former Bluff City-Bristol Utilities District Manager Charged With Theft Totaling Nearly $ 300,000 | News

NASHVILLE – An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Tina Grindstaff, who served as Director of the Bristol-Bluff City Public Services District from August 5, 2008 to June 6, 2019.

According to a press release from the comptroller’s office, investigators discovered that Grindstaff had embezzled at least $ 294,810.71 in district funds by paying himself unauthorized compensation.

This compensation included payments for overtime, time off, vacation, and bonuses that were not authorized by the District Commissioners Council or Grindstaff’s employment contract.

In addition to paying itself unauthorized compensation, Grindstaff paid employee bonuses totaling at least $ 24,025 that were not approved by the Council of Commissioners.

These bonuses were not reflected on employees’ annual W-2 forms, the statement said.

The investigation also revealed that Grindstaff had made questionable payments and provided life insurance to his father totaling at least $ 132,907.13.

Additionally, Grindstaff made questionable payments to his aunt totaling $ 24,200. Investigators could not find enough documents and permissions from the council to justify these payments.

Finally, Grindstaff made questionable purchases and withdrawals totaling $ 13,897.33.

Some of these disbursements included money for boat repairs, pool equipment, vet fees, a karaoke machine, and tanning bed lamps. Investigators could not determine whether these disbursements were exclusively for the benefit of the district, the statement said.

In July 2021, a Sullivan County grand jury indicted Grindstaff with one count of theft over $ 250,000, one count of theft over $ 60,000 and two counts of theft over 2,500. $.

“There are a number of operations that need to be strengthened in this utility district,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “These include adopting specific personnel policies regarding remuneration, maintaining an inventory list of equipment and acquiring a reliable accounting system to ensure the accuracy of financial statements. I am pleased to see that the Commissioners are taking action to address these issues.

Daniel E. Murphy