School employees paid too much, arrested for theft

LAUDERDALE CO., TN (WMC) - Two Lauderdale County Schools employees were indicted on theft charges after the district accidentally paid the employees after they quit.

A bookkeeping error by Lauderdale County Schools resulted in educational assistant Devlyn Green and bus driver Milton Waller getting paid after they quit.

Green quit in May 2014. Waller quit in October 2016. Both continued to receive payments after their employment ended.

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury said Green received more than $33,500 in extra payments, while Waller received more than $4,000 in extra payments.

Residents in Ripley said the two former employees should have done the right thing and said something when they started receiving the payments.

"You see your bank account filling up, right away there is something that can be done," Ripley resident Mark Mainz said. "Someone you can go to and talk to about these things. You have to have the integrity for yourself, for the school, and for the community."

Others said the former employees should have taken the issue seriously because it was related to the school and the children.

"The children are our future. They are who we are banking on, you know what I'm saying, to get to the next level," Ripley resident Quincy Sims said. "So, take it seriously. Anything regarding these kids, take it seriously."

Auditors discovered the school district's staff failed to review timesheets to support payroll reimbursements, but hope the county pays closer attention to their books.

District Attorney General Mike Dunavant filed charges against Green and Waller. A grand jury indicted both of them on criminal theft charges.

The school district will not face any legal consequences for overpaying the former employees. The State of Tennessee Comptroller's office said the error was noticed and now the school is taking measures to prevent it from happening again.

"There were some clerical errors that occurred in this situation and we were encouraged to see the Director of Schools," Comptroller of the Treasury Information Officer John Dunn said. "This appears to be something that occurred accidentally and that the school system is taking action to prevent this from happening again."

Meanwhile, the Comptroller's office released the following report containing suggestions on how the school district could keep this from happening in the future.

The superintendent declined to answer any questions regarding the situation.

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