Comptroller: Cocke Co. sheriff, deputy should not work double duty

     The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said this week that Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes and a deputy from his office have been investigated for getting paid for two separate law enforcement jobs at the same time.

     Investigators found that the deputy clocked in for both jobs multiple times, totaling $1,225 in duplicate payments, according to the documents. The investigative report states the deputy and the sheriff used their county vehicles while at their second jobs. While the report does not specify which department they worked at, photos in the report show their county vehicles parked in the White Pine Police Department’s parking lot.

      Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower wrote in his report that “Management in Cocke County did not provide adequate oversight over time and attendance reporting and did not establish appropriate internal controls,” Mumpower said. “As detailed above, investigators determined that hours reflected on the timesheets for one deputy did not accurately reflect the actual hours worked at the county. Management is responsible for designing internal controls to give reasonable assurance of the reliability of time reporting and of the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.”

     The Cocke County Sheriff’s Department policy states in part: Personal use of vehicles should be limited and used only on occasions such as stopping on the way home at a market, etc.”… “The vehicle should not be used as a family car for trips on Sundays or riding around in other counties without being on official business.”

     Fontes said he wanted to work for White Pine Police Department so he could help out another agency but not for extra money or a promised position.

     No disciplinary action was taken, but county officials said that they have corrected or plan to correct the deficiencies, according to the report.