Middle school teacher and coach indicted for stealing gas

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said an investigation has lead to the indictment of a middle school teacher and assistant baseball coach.
Travis Lee Griffith
Travis Lee Griffith(Unicoi County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 1:59 PM EDT
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UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said that Travis Griffith, a former Unicoi County Middle School teacher, and assistant baseball coach has been indicted after investigators found that he used a school department fuel card to purchase at least $10,160 worth of gasoline for his personal vehicle.

Investigators said that 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.

The investigation shows that Griffith was able to use the school department’s fuel card for more than five years before he resigned from his position on October 9, 2020. Officials say that during that time, he made at least 169 personal fuel purchases, including purchases in South Carolina and Florida.

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.”

You can view the investigative report here.

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