May 29, 2015

Hord case cited in state audit

This is one reason why registrants MUST get a signed receipt, or copy of, every document or transaction with authorities. File it forever...
5-29-15 Tennessee:

The office of Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Justin Wilson has released its reports of cash shortages, caused by theft, fraud or other problems in local government.

One report covers county governments, while the other covers cities and towns, and other government-related agencies such as utility districts.

Hord case

The only finding related to Bedford County was the case of sheriff's deputy Rebecca Hord, who was indicted in 2013 after a cash shortage was found in accounts related to the Sexual Offender Registry. The case was retired earlier this year.

Hord held the rank of captain before she was terminated in 2012 for allegedly driving her county-issued patrol car to Nashville and Kentucky for non-work related reasons and "other non-specified violations of department policy."

According to an investigative audit by the Comptroller of the Treasury released in late 2013, a cash shortage of at least $31,460 was found in 2012 from the sheriff's department's sexual offender registry office (SOR). The investigation covered the period Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2011.

Poor or no records

After Hord was fired, the new SOR questioned a sexual offender regarding $150 in fees the database said he owed. The offender presented a generic, unofficial receipt documenting the payment, but the department had no record and could not trace it to a deposit.

Several receipts from sexual offenders also could not be traced to the accounting records of the department, or to the SOR, the audit reported, and an investigation was initiated.

From 2006 to 2011, at least $42,198 should have been collected, and due to the condition of the records, there could have been more sexual offenders who were required to report to the department that auditors could not determine.

Four documents submitted by Hord to the TBI indicated that the offenders were indigent and could not pay their required registration fee. However, all four had paid, and former sheriff Randall Boyce told auditors that his signature on those documents was forged, appearing to be photocopied.

No reports

The audit also indicated that sexual offenders were not required to report to the sheriff's department in person, in violation of state law, and that the sheriff's department did not inquire as to why a sexual offender either quit reporting or stopped paying the administrative fee.

At the same time the criminal case against Hord was retired, attorneys on both sides asked that a wage and hour and discrimination lawsuit by Hord against the county, the sheriff's department and Boyce be dismissed.


The state's 95 counties began the last fiscal year with $775,221 in cash shortages that had not been recovered. During the year, $675,742 worth of new shortages were detected. Counties were able to recover $661,981 through restitution payments, insurance claims or other means. That left a net unrecovered shortage of $788,981 at the end of the fiscal year.

For the cities, town and agencies, fiscal year 2013 began with $1,640,277 in unrecovered cash shortages. During the year, $4,485,021 in new shortages were detected. A total of $4,932,640 was recovered during the fiscal year, leaving an unrecovered shortage of at least $1,154,633 as of June 30, 2013.

Thefts continue

"These reports show why Tennesseans should join our office in helping make government work better," Wilson said. "I am pleased to note the continuing efforts to recover substantial amounts of public money, but theft remains a problem. I encourage all government leaders to follow auditors' recommendations and take the necessary steps to prevent fraud, waste and abuse of public money."

Both reports provide explanations of how the shortages were discovered, methods used to steal the money, corrective steps taken to prevent future thefts and legal actions taken against those responsible. ..Source.. by T-G STAFF REPORT

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