State investigation reveals numerous issues for city of Oakland

OAKLAND, TN (WMC) - The City of Oakland and its mayor received a scathing rebuke from the TBI and the State of Tennessee's Comptroller of the treasury after a lengthy investigation. But the agency said none of it rose to the level of criminal behavior.

"We've made a lot of progress in the past four years and I hate this blemish on Oakland because there is a past and I didn't expect this," Oakland Mayor Chris Goodman said.

The investigation looked at a three year period from 2013-2016 and found numerous deficiencies that highlight accounting and administrative problems.

The investigation discovered payments to Oakland's former town recorder Tammy Hightower. The payments were for more than $45,000 and are against town policy. There was another 1,500 hours of earned payment that could not be verified.

The investigation also looked at the mayor's second job for a software company and found he was often unavailable to employees. At that time, the mayor's salary was $61,000 a year.

"I don't agree with everything in there. I'm grateful to have someone overlooking to make sure we're doing the right thing," Goodman said.

Oakland residents said the thought things were going OK.

"It sounds bad, but I know the mayor and I don't think that's particularly true," Jim Krahl said.

But, Krahl did note the problems with the last two mayors.

Former Oakland Mayor Bill Mullins, after six terms, was found guilty of official misconduct and falsifying documents. The next mayor, Scott Ferguson, resigned after it was revealed he had two wives.

Goodman said new policies are now in place.

"I can assure you and the citizens, we are moving forward," Goodman said.

The report said the investigation is closed, but if new allegations of criminal behavior are revealed, they will be investigated.

You can view the complete report from the Comptroller's Office by clicking here.

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