Missing Cash Leads to Charges of Theft Against Morgan County Clerk

An east Tennessee county clerk took money home instead of depositing it to the office’s bank account, state auditors have found.

The auditor’s investigation — which identified more than $54,600 in missing funds — led to Morgan County Clerk Carol J. Hamby being indicted for theft, official misconduct and violation of a state law that requires public funds to be deposited within three days of receipt.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel has been reporting on the indictment and state comptroller auditors’ findings.

Under pressure from the investigation, Hamby returned more than $47,000, though some $7,400 was still missing as of late December, according to the report.

In a paraphrased response included in the audit, Hamby said she would not comment in detail because of the pending legal action but said she strived for “transparent record keeping.”

I made wrong decisions that allowed me to be in this situation. I have worked my absolute best to insure (sic) the customers had great quality service. All money was submitted to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and any other state agency.

I focused heavily on some areas of my office and not heavily enough in others. … There are times I thought with my heart and not my brain. We all learn with age and experience.