Report: Dandridge school cafeteria manager admits to keeping stolen funds

The cafeteria manager at Patriot Academy in Dandridge was indicted on theft charges after an investigation. / (Tennessee Office of the Comptroller)

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The cafeteria manager at Patriot Academy in Dandridge has been indicted on theft charges after an investigation by the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller.

A release from the comptroller's office said Christina Morris is accused of stealing at least $1,660.75 in cash that was collected from the school cafeteria between November 1, 2018 and March 6, 2019.

The investigation began after county and school department officials determined that numerous cafeteria collections were not being deposited on time. Officials reported this information to Comptroller’s Office, and confronted Morris about the problem. After she was confronted, Morris returned $1,677 to the school and was placed on administrative leave.

Morris reportedly admitted that she had been using the funds for her personal use. She resigned on April 11, 2019.

“The cafeteria manager was given too much responsibility over the financial process within her school’s cafeteria,” said Comptroller’s Justin P. Wilson. “She not only received and counted the money collected, but she also prepared and delivered deposits to the bank, and she reconciled recorded collections with the bank deposits. These duties should be separated between at least two people.”

According to the comptroller's office, the school said they have a plan in place to correct the deficiencies noted in the investigative report.

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