published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond over on payroll by $220,850, audit finds

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond was over in salary expenses by $220,850 during the last fiscal year, according to an audit of constitutional officers.

According to the audit released Wednesday, Hammond enters into a letter of agreement with county Mayor Jim Coppinger each year that details how much he will spend in salaries.

Last year’s agreement capped the sheriff at $15,286,636, but Hammond spent $15,507,486.

According to Hammond’s response to the audit, he had supplied Coppinger with an amended letter, which reportedly is in compliance with state law, but Coppinger chose not to sign the agreement.

Auditors also found Sheriff Hammond had not been fully recording reimbursements from the state for handgun permit background checks. According to law, the sheriff performs background checks for residents seeking handgun permits. The sheriff then bills the state $15 for that service.

Auditors found the sheriff “does not reconcile the subsequent payments received from the state” with his own records of processed applications. The sheriff reportedly received $32,805 for background payments last year.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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