A Knox County Schools lead mechanic was indicted for theft after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.
Comptroller investigators determined that Michael James used the school system’s purchasing cards to buy $187,670 worth of vehicle parts and used them for his private automotive repair business. The purchases occurred between July 2014 and November 2017.
Investigators say James purchased parts for vehicles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus and other manufacturers which are not in the school’s fleet.
James’ was fired in November 2017. He was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury on Tuesday on one count of theft of property over $60,000.
“One person should not be responsible for ordering parts, charging the parts on a purchasing card, and accepting delivery of the parts,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “It’s also important that someone carefully scrutinize invoices to ensure that purchases are valid. I’m pleased to note Knox County Schools is taking steps to address these issues.”