Nashville, Tenn.- A state investigative audit has found that more than a million dollars is either missing or was misspent by a non-profit group. They were supposed to help people in rural parts of Tennessee get better access to medical care.
NewsChannel 5's investigative reporter Jennifer Kraus discovered where some of that money apparently wound up.
The head of the state audit division calls this a big waste of taxpayers' money. The Community Health Network is supposed to make it easier for folks who live in rural areas of Tennessee to get specialized medical care that they can't get near their homes from specialists here in Nashville by using internet conferencing.
But now a state audit has found more than a million dollars that went to the Community Health Network is gone.
"We have a tremendous amount of waste and abuse," said Dennis Dycus, the Municipal Audit Division Director.
According to auditors, grant invoices and reports were falsified. The group overbilled the state for purchases. Nearly half a million dollars in grant money is unaccounted for. And more than $90,000 in unauthorized salary and benefits went to Keith Williams, the former CEO of the Community Health Network and his assistant Paul Monroe.
Dennis Dycus says one of the most glaring examples of waste was a computer system.
"We had a computer system that they spent $1,470,000 on that was fully operational but was never used," said Dycus.
Dycus says it turns out the former CEO of the group got kickbacks from a software vendor, and after he abruptly resigned from the community health network, he went to work for that company.
The community health network board claims they didn't know what was going on until Williams suddenly resigned.
The state has now sent the case to the D.A. And state attorney general for possible prosecution.