Hamblen County official accused of using public funds on personal truck

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The director of the Hamblen County Morristown Solid Waste Disposal System is under indictment on a theft charge related to accusations he misused public funds.

Dan Winter, director of the Hamblen County Morristown Solid Waste Disposal System, was indicted in January 2021 on one count of theft over $1,000 and one count of official misconduct as a result of an investigation by the Tennessee’s Comptroller’s Office.

Dan Winter. Photo: Hamblen Co. Sheriff’s Office

Investigators accuse Winter of misappropriating at least $1,695.70 by using system funds to outfit and clean his personal pickup truck. Winter used the system’s charge accounts at auto stores and a system credit card to make purchases for his vehicle. The purchases included:

  • $725 for a truck bed cover
  • $371.70 for two new tires
  • $599 for a monthly car wash subscription

Winter received a $650 per month vehicle allowance payment; however, he told investigators that he did not consider the mud to be normal wear and tear on his vehicle.

In the report, investigators said Winter explained the tires and car washes were purchased to repair damage or clean off mud debris that occurred during his trips to the county landfill. Winter told investigators that he purchased the truck bed cover to protect system files when they were being transported.

“In addition to the problems noted above, the system’s board of directors should ensure they are providing adequate oversight over the director’s time on the job,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “The director was not required to complete a time sheet. Those records should be produced, reviewed, and approved. System officials have indicated they are addressing this deficiency.”

To view the investigative report, go to: https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/investigations/find.html

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