Published December 20, 2015
The former mayor of Gadsden, Tenn., may have used as much as $75,000 in taxpayer money for his own benefit, according to an audit that Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released Wednesday.
The audit itself did not mention the name of the former mayor, whose term ended in 2013. His term as the town's fire chief ended in February. A spokeswoman for the Crockett County Elections Commission said Steve Selph was the mayor of Gadsden during that time. The University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service still lists Selph as the fire chief.
Tennessee Watchdog left a message seeking comment at Selph's home Wednesday, but he did not respond.
No one at Gadsden City Hall returned Tennessee Watchdog's requests for comment Wednesday to comment on the matter.
Between 2009 and 2013, according to the audit, the former mayor bought gasoline, cigarettes and food totaling at least $33,775 from a local convenience store and charged it all to the town.
"The mayor/fire chief admitted to us that he had obtained the gasoline for his personal vehicle, as well as other items, and charged these purchases to the town. The mayor/fire chief advised us the town did not have a vehicle that he could use, and he had been doing a lot of 'running around on behalf of the town," auditors wrote in the report.