Unicoi County Middle School teacher indicted for stealing gas

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Travis Griffith, a former Unicoi County Middle School teacher and assistant baseball coach.
Investigators determined that Griffith used a school department fuel card to purchase at least $10,160 worth of gasoline for his personal vehicle.
As part of his role as an assistant baseball coach, Griffith was issued a fuel card to purchase fuel from local gas stations for a school owned vehicle; however, that vehicle used diesel fuel, not gasoline.
Griffith was able to use the school department’s fuel card for more than five years before he resigned his position on October 9, 2020. During that time, he made at least 169 personal fuel purchases, including purchases in South Carolina and Florida.
In July 2021, the Unicoi County grand jury indicted Travis Lee Griffith on one count of theft over $10,000.
“The use of fuel cards is common for many local governments, but it’s vitally important that controls are put in place to prevent fraud,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “In this case, school officials should have taken extra steps to review monthly fuel invoices, which included information about purchase locations and the type of fuel purchased, before submitting payment. I’m pleased to see that school leaders have corrected this deficiency.”