Former employee stole from Carter County federally funded program

Local News

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A former employee with the Carter County Head Start program has been indicted for stealing nearly $9,000 from the program after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

Joyce Parsons, a former administrative assistant for the program, had used Head Start credit cards to purchase personal items including clothes, groceries, cosmetics, household goods, and hygiene products.

She admitted to the theft and told investigators that she had used other employee’s names on receipts to conceal her activities. Parsons was suspended without pay, back in January of 2020 and later terminated in April of the same year.

In July of 2021 Parsons was indicted by a Carter County Grand Jury for theft of over $2,500. Investigators are also looking into Head Start disbursements of over $6,000 that were used for food, travel, car rentals and supplies, but the purchases weren’t supported with itemized receipts or other documents.

“We appreciate that Head Start officials reported this activity to our Office,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “I am also pleased to see that they are taking steps to improve management oversight, the purchasing process, and the review and approval of travel and expense claims.”

If you suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800.232.5454, or file a report online at tncot.cc/fraud.

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