Tennessee solid waste director took $227,000, heads to Disney World, audit says

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

NASHVILLE — Ronald Brady is charged with taking more than $227,000 from Hamblen County taxpayers, yet probably no reporter was around to ask: What will you do now?

Brady might have said, “I’m going to Disney World”?

Brady, who lives in Morristown, resigned as the county’s director of solid waste last month.

Brady allegedly took $227,972 from taxpayers and used it for, among other things, a trip to Orlando’s world famous resort, according to an audit released Thursday.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

QUIET AS A MOUSE: According to Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson’s audit, former Hamblen County Solid Waste Director allegedly stole $227,000 from taxpayers without anyone knowing for four years.


Brady admitted to also using the money for other personal expenses, including service on his BMW, according to Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson’s audit.

The Morristown telephone directory lists two Ronald Bradys, one of whom had already disconnected his phone. The other Ronald Brady did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

“Investigators discovered Mr. Brady took system funds over a (3 1/2-year period) using several schemes,” said comptroller spokesman John Dunn said in an emailed statement.

“Mr. Brady also used the solid waste system’s American Express card to charge at least $31,785 in personal purchases,” said Dunn, adding Brady used the card on a mattress delivered to his home.

Brady used solid waste system funds to make payments totaling $3,801 on a non-system credit card, Dunn said.

Brady then destroyed, discarded, or altered solid waste system records to conceal his activity, which he did without the solid waste system’s board knowing, Dunn added.

A Hamblen County grand jury indicted Brady this week on one county of theft over $60,000.

Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.

According to the audit, Brady allegedly took the money by manipulating the county’s payroll software between 2010 through January of last year.

“He then manipulated the computer system so that these unauthorized checks did not appear in the accounting records,” according to the audit.

“Mr. Brady used a signature stamp to apply the signature of the system’s board chairman on the checks. He cashed some of these checks at a local bank and deposited some of them into his personal bank account.”

In his audit, Wilson called out Hamblen County officials for allowing Brady to have access and control over all of the solid waste department’s financial transactions.

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org 

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