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June 22, 2024

Want to steal from taxpayers? Here’s how:…

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 24, 2014

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — Sick of people calling you nothing more than a two-bit scam artist?
Well, silly, why haven’t you applied for a job as a public servant in one of Tennessee’s small towns or cities? You’ll have access to money beyond your wildest dreams.

Thus far, many elected officials in the Volunteer State just don’t give a damn what you do. But don’t go into this blind.
For your consideration, here are five surefire ways to rip off Tennessee taxpayers:

(1) Pick a town or city where you know for sure you’ll have sole access to this money.

This is the most important step. According to an audit state Comptroller Justin Wilson released today, Machella Meaghan Gilliam got caught taking more than $15,000 from the town of Friendsville.
While Gilliam seemed to have sole access to this money, she got caught because she was sloppy.
Don’t be like her. Don’t be sloppy.
Until and unless state officials enforce stricter accountability measures, this money is ripe for the taking.

 (2) In the event you’re caught, make sure you work under the authority of an elected official who refuses to take any responsibility for your behavior.

Crockett County has major potential for theft.
Gary Reasons
County Mayor Gary Reasons, for instance, refuses to accept any responsibility for the fact that one of his employees is accused of taking $88,000 from taxpayers. It’s not the mayor’s fault. Don’t blame him — blame the board he appointed to oversee this woman’s behavior, he told Tennessee Watchdog earlier this year. When a leader assumes no blame, then nobody is at fault for anything. 

(3) Considering the prior example, always angle for a position in which the only people who hold you ‘accountable’ are appointed board members.

Board members don’t have to face voters, and they seldom have to answer to politicians.
Getting on a board that oversees a certain department doesn’t depend on skill set.
“A lot of times people get on these boards as a result of political favors,” said State Rep. Kent Williams, I-Elizabethton.


This one is particularly interesting:

(4) Ask yourself, ‘What kind of attitude do the town’s residents have about stealing? Are they OK with it?’

Monitor the local media. Do the reporters generally try to hold elected officials accountable?
Do people speak out on government theft at public meetings?
If the answer to both questions is no, then dive right in.
Continue reading (click here)…
Contact Christopher Butler at [email protected]. or follow him and submit story ideas on his official Facebook page.
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