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80 Years Ago

Archives 12-11-2002






Christmas Parade held in Livingston
Former county employee indicted for embezzlement
Surprise sweep snags seventeen suspects



Christmas Parade held in Livingston

First Baptist Church Drama Team won the Grand Marshall's Trophy with this entry in Saturday's Overton County Christmas Parade. The float promoted "Christmas: The true meaning – Found On – The Road to Bethlehem”.

The 2002 Overton County Christmas Parade was held in Livingston on Saturday, Dec. 7 in front of hundreds of spectators who lined the parade route.

The parade was one of the largest ever for Overton County, having 116 entries.

First Baptist Church Drama Team won the Grand Marshall's Trophy.

Pennington's Muffler Shop won the Judges Award. Other winners were: Business & Industry – 1st place, Willow Grove Boat Dock, and 2nd place, Pennington's Muffler Shop.

Churches – 1st place, First Baptist Church Drama Team, 2nd place, Beaty Swamp Community Church.

Schools – 1st place, Volunteer State Community College, and 2nd place, Livingston Middle School Cheerleaders.

Fire & Rescue Departments – 1st place, Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, and 2nd place, Overton County Rescue Squad.

Scouting Troops – 1st place, Cub Scout Webellos #2, and 2nd place, Rickman Girls Scouts #2208.

Children Under 12 – 1st place, Tiny Tot Queen Katlyn Ray and Toddler Queen Kellsey Ray, and 2nd place, Little Miss Hallie Thompson.

Children 12 & Older – 1st place, Fairest of the Fair Christen Cates, 2nd place, Poppy Queen Brandi Keisling.

Antique Cars – 1st place, Bob Hurst's 1940 Ford coupe, and 2nd place, Erik Hammock's 1966 Ford pickup.

Civic Clubs & Veterans Organizations – 1st place, 4-H Honor Club, and 2nd place, VFW Post #5062.

Horse Wagons & Buggies – 1st place, W.J. Staggs, and 2nd place, Larry King.

Horse and Female Rider – 1st place, Domique Barlow, and 2nd place, Jada Ledbetter. Horse and Male Rider – 1st place, Kaleb Qualls, and 2nd place, Brandon Savage.

Other – 1st place, Overton County Humane Society, and 2nd place, Dewayne Anderson.




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Former county employee indicted for embezzlement

By ROBERT FORSMAN, court reporter

Sherri H. Dishman, 30, was indicted December 2 by Overton County Grand Jury on charges of embezzling more than $10,000 from county funds.

According to the indictment, between December 1998 and May 2002 Dishman "did unlawfully and intentionally or knowingly obtain or exercise control over property, to-wit: money of the value over $10,000, belonging to Overton County, Tennessee, with the intent to deprive the owner thereof and without the owner's effective consent."

Dishman worked in the Overton County Executive's Office. Her duties included Solid-Waste billing. Dishman reportedly resigned earlier this year during the Richard M. "Ossie” Mitchell administration.

According to a written statement, "Immediately upon discovery of the cash shortage in the Solid Waste program, the budget director notified the Division of County Audit. The county executive gave the employee the option to resign or be fired and contacted the attorney general."

Assistant District Attorney Owen Burnett arranged a TBI investigation and an audit of transactions that could relate to the case.

According to the audit, "The Solid Waste/Sanitation Fund had a cash shortage of $10,610.25 on June 30, 2002. This cash shortage resulted from tipping fees ($6,776.30) and sales of recyclable materials ($3,833.95) not being deposited with the county trustee or otherwise accounted for in any manner. Our original examination was scheduled to cover transactions for the year ended June 30, 2002; however, because of the cash shortage, we extended our examination to include transactions dating back to July 1, 1998."

The report goes on to say, "Our examination revealed that computer records had been manipulated in several instances so that certain solid waste cash collections would not be reflected. Because of the lack of internal controls and documentation, we are unable to determine the full extent of the missing cash collections."

Internal control weaknesses were cited in the report as allowing the cash shortage to occur and to go undetected for several years. The said weaknesses noted were:

A. Employees' duties were not segregated. One employee collected funds, issued receipts, posted accounting records, and deposited funds with the county trustee. These duties were performed without effective monitoring or review by supervisory personnel.

B. The solid waste disposal accounts receivable records maintained in the office included an account labeled "Dummy Account" that was used to account for scale tickets for new charge customers until a charge account was entered into the system. Once a new account was established, the information was to be transferred to the new account; however this account had an unidentifiable balance of $4,825 at June 30, 2002.

C. The county contracted with a local trash collection service to collect trash from county buildings for $425 per month. The county then allowed this trash collection to reduce the amount it owed the county by $425 per month for its use of the county's transfer station. Consequently, county revenues and expenditures were understated. These revenues and expenditures have been properly reflected in the financial statements of this report.

D. Funds collected in the County Executive's Office were not deposited to the county trustee within three days, as required by Section 5-8-207, Tennessee Code Annotated. Furthermore, collections were not deposited intact with the trustee. During our examination, we noted some collections that were held in the County Executive's Office for almost four months before being deposited with the county trustee.

E. Collections of the County Executive's Office were not reconciled with deposits made with the county trustee. Reconciling collections with deposits is an effective internal control procedure to ensure that all collections are properly deposited with the county trustee. In addition to the $10,610 shortage, there were several miscellaneous receipts that could not be traced to the Trustee's Office; however, because of haphazard deposit methods, we could not determine the disposition of those funds.

According to a written response by the county executive and director of accounts and budgets, "The County Executive's Office has taken steps to segregate some of the duties involving collecting, depositing, and posting.

"Steps are also being taken to identify amounts in the dummy account.

"The $425 per month for garbage collection at county buildings is now paid monthly from the General Fund.

"The three-day deposit law is being strictly enforced with all solid waste program employees.

"Records are reconciled monthly at the transfer station and the County Executive's office, and deposits with the trustee are made in a timely manner."

Dishman was arrested and released on a $10,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Overton County Criminal Court December 17 for arraignment by Judge Lillie Ann Sells.


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Surprise sweep snags seventeen suspects

Livingston Police Department officers, along with agents from the FBI and TBI, conducted a surprise sweep of the local area on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Seventeen offenders, many under sealed indictment, were taken into custody.

Charges range from Aggravated Burglary and Theft of Property to the Illegal Sale and Possession of Narcotics. Several of the cases stemmed from the passing of fraudulent prescriptions at area pharmacies.

Livingston Police Chief Roger Phillips reported that officers started serving the indictments early on the cold morning with hopes of catching many suspects still in bed. All arrests were without incident. Suspects were booked at Livingston Police Department before being incarcerated at Overton County Jail.

Chief Phillips stated, "This has been an ongoing investigation for several months. The investigations will continue.

"The illegal sale of narcotics is a growing problem in this area, increasing every day."

Officers report that the drug of choice in this area has changed recently from Tylox, cocaine, and marijuana to OxyContin, a powerful narcotic used in the relief of extreme pain. OxyContin pills are being bought and sold for as much as $65 to $75.

Several of the indictments are for the sale of OxyContin. Most of the theft and burglary investigations are related to the OxyContin drug. Arrested were the following:

Bobby Manuel, of Livingston, charged with Possession of Schedule II Drug and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Clifford Manuel, of Livingston, charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell or Deliver.

Frankie R. Ford, of Livingston, charged with Aggravated Burglary, Theft of Property over $500, and Vandalism of Property.

Alan H. Key, of Timothy Community, charged with Aggravated Burglary, and Theft of Property over $500.

Robert Timothy Covey, of Livingston, charged with Burglary and Theft of Property over $1,000.

Johnny Arney, of Livingston, charged with the Sale and Delivery of OxyContin, three counts each.

Joshua James Hinson, of Dry Hollow, charged with Sale and Delivery of Schedule II, cocaine.

Michele Lee Ray, of Frogtown Community, charged with Fraud, and Possession of a Schedule II Drug with the Intent to Sell or Deliver OxyContin.

Candy Lewis, of Livingston, charged with 24 counts of Forgery and 24 counts of Passing a Forged Instrument.

Levi Franklin, of Rickman, charged with three counts of Sale and Delivery of Schedule II cocaine.

Jeffery Moore, of Rickman, charged with DUI, Reckless Endangerment, and Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle.

Joshua Schaffer, of Algood, charged with Sale and Delivery of Marijuana over .5 Ounce.

Mike Akers, of the Highland Community, charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, and five counts of Fraud, and five counts of Possession of a Schedule II Drug OxyContin with the Intent to Sell or Deliver.

Randall Mathis, of Cookeville, charged with the Sale and Delivery of Marijuana over .5 Ounce.

Jason Mathis, of Livingston, charged with the Sale and Delivery of Marijuana over .5 Ounce.

Sonya Scott, of Celina, charged with Fraudulently Passing a Prescription for Schedule II Drug OxyContin.

Melisha Mosier Ludwick, of Celina, charged with Fraudulently Passing a Presicription for Schedule II Drug OxyContin.

The defendants will be arraigned before Judge Lillie Ann Sells on Monday, Dec. 16.





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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486


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