Pikeville mayor spent more than $250,000 in city funds for personal use, state report says

Pikeville mayor spent more than $250,000 in city funds for personal use, state report says

August 9th, 2012 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Pikeville, Tenn., Mayor Greg Johnson

Pikeville, Tenn., Mayor Greg Johnson

Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.

Pikeville Mayor Greg Johnson spent more than $250,000 in city funds for his personal use, according to the state Comptroller's Office.

Johnson was arrested last month on charges of official misconduct and theft over $60,000 and was said to have misused more than $177,000 in city funds. The comptroller's report, released today, increased the amount.

"Elected officials are put in positions of public trust and they should act accordingly at all times," said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson in a news release. "Unrestrained abuses of power undermine public confidence in local leaders and create an atmosphere of distrust of government that can take years to erase."

Johnson is accused of spending $15,900 in city funds to purchase a 2008 Honda Element that was never titled to the town and was given to one of Johnson's family members for personal use, the report said.

He is also accused of purchasing 10 used vehicles that cost the town $109,900. At least four of the vehicles were severely damaged and did not appear to fulfill any purpose, the report said. The report said Johnson admitted to using one to take a trip to Miami.

A third misconduct count states Johnson received more than $130,000 in reimbursement claims for health insurance premiums that he never paid. Johnson never purchased insurance through the city's provider, either, the report said.

Johnson also had the city pay him a "vehicle allowance" of $37,000 that was not authorized by city officials, the report said.

Johnson is a three-term mayor in Pikeville.