Former Carter County Head Start employee scheduled for June sentencing

Published 5:55 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com

A former Carter County Head Start employee will be sentenced in June for misappropriating more than $8,000 from the agency.

Joyce Parsons, a former administrative assistant, is scheduled to appear before Judge Stacy Street on June 10. She pleaded guilty in July 2021 to theft.

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The Comptroller’s Division of Investigation’s annual audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, found that Parsons had made at least $8,657 in unauthorized personal purchases along with questionable disbursements of Head Start funds totaling at least $6,276. She was found guilty of theft in July 2021.

The investigation report said that Parsons had used Head Start credit cards to make at least $8,657 in unauthorized purchases including clothing, groceries, cosmetics, household goods, and personal hygiene products.

During the investigation, Parsons admitted to making the purchases and told investigators she signed other employees’ names to her receipts to conceal the activities.

The investigation began when the Head Start officials identified and reported the questionable activity. Parsons was suspended without pay on Jan. 20, 2020, and was terminated on April 13, 2020.

Comptroller Jason Mumpower said he was appreciative of the fact that the Head Start officials had the insight to report the illegal activity. “We appreciate that Head Start officials reported this activity to our office,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower. “I am also pleased to see that they are taking steps to improve management oversight, the purchasing process, and the review and approval of travel and expense claims.”