Internal MPA audit reveals thousands in misspent money - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Internal MPA audit reveals thousands in misspent money

An internal audit has revealed thousands of dollars in misspent money within the Memphis Police Association. An internal audit has revealed thousands of dollars in misspent money within the Memphis Police Association.

An internal audit has revealed thousands of dollars in misspent money within the Memphis Police Association.

According to a month-long internal investigation of the MPA, former union officers were living large on the Association's dime.

Action News 5 has learned the Tennessee State Comptroller is currently investigating the Memphis Police Association's financial records, and has obtained specific details of an internal audit that shows thousands of dollars of unauthorized spending that went on for years. 
 
According to the union's financial oversight committee, there were more than $140,000 in unauthorized credit card charges against the MPA in 2006.  Internal statements show former union president Tommy Turner maxed out the limits of three union issued credit cards, and withdrew $15,046 from the MPA account without authorization. 

Also in 2006, the MPA paid out more than $16,000 in cell phone bills.  Money was also spent on cook books, online music services, valet parking, hotels, and fuel. 

The most money was spent on wining and dining.  Auditors said the MPA's most recent Christmas party may have cost them more than $68,000.  In December of last year, the liquor store 'Spirits of Atoka' was paid almost $12,000, and Cotton Bowl Catering received more than $44,000. 

Monthly union board meetings were catered by Pappy's Oyster Bar and Grill in Memphis.  After several lunches were charged on an MPA credit card, the Association cut the restaurant checks and paid for them again.

Union board members want criminal charges brought against the former MPA president and it's former treasurer, and suggest their findings may be just the tip of the iceberg.

MPA sources said the outside accounting firm that handles the union's books repeatedly alerted union officials about the lack of documentation to account for the spending, but those warnings were ignored.


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