Chattanooga Library official resigns, another suspended after audit findings

photo Meg Backus and Nate Hill
photo Corinne Hill, executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library, has received a key industry honor.

After two top Chattanooga Library officials were reported to the state for suspected fraud, one official has resigned and another will be suspended.

Library Systems Administrator Meg Backus has resigned and Administrative Director Nate Hill will be suspended, Executive Director Corinne Hill said this morning.

Hill told the library's board at a special called meeting that she will investigate Nate Hill and she would work to bring the library in line with all of Chattanooga's policies.

City Auditor Stan Sewell's report also found that Corinne Hill kept excess reimbursements for worldwide trips, including extra hotel nights on personal time, but she told the board she has paid back the expenses.

Sewell reported her two top staffers, Nate Hill and Backus, to the state's comptroller's office after he found they took multiple paid speaking and consultant jobs on library time and took weeks of unreported vacation time. When questioned, Backus also deleted evidence and lied to auditors. The total excess reimbursements that Corinne Hill and her staffers received and the amount of mismanaged funds are estimated in the auditor findings at nearly $3,000.

But the library board in Friday's meeting shied away from any questions about Sewell's findings on Corinne Hill and her two top staffers related to vacation time and worldwide trips. Instead they talked about Sewell's findings related to the board on lack of checks and balances over the library.

The board decided to set up two committees to study the board's bylaws and another to study the library's operational policies.

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