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Funk Campaign Manager Landed On DA's Payroll

Posted: 7:07 PM, May 14, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-24 22:16:24-04
Funk Campaign Manager Landed On DA's Payroll
Funk Campaign Manager Landed On DA's Payroll

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There are new questions about how Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk has used taxpayer money.

That comes as the TBI continues to examine whether Funk himself got a no-show job before he took office.

Now, our NewsChannel 5 investigation has uncovered questions about Funk's decision to put his campaign manager on the Metro payroll and whether the campaign manager got paid even when he didn't show up.

After Funk took office back in September, one of his first acts was to fire a group of veteran prosecutors, most of whom had supported his opponent.

Those firings created an opening for Funk to hire his campaign manager, Democratic operative Kevin Teets, into a $60,000-a-year job.

Teets -- a licensed attorney whose resume shows a career spent mainly on "advocacy, political campaigns and public relations" -- celebrated on Facebook with a photo of his new ID as an "assistant district attorney."

 

 

"He was a political operative -- and his resume clearly points that out -- not a prosecutor," said Metro Council member Steve Glover, who sits on the council's budget committee.

But what really surprised him were Teets' paid-time-off (PTO) forms.

They show that just three weeks after he went to work, Teets began taking days off -- a total of eight days at first.

A month later, the forms show he took another 10 days. A handwritten note described that as "discretionary PTO per GRF" -- those are Glenn Funk's initials.

Then, beginning in January, he took another 20 days off -- essentially a whole month with pay.

"It tells me," Glover said, "that I question a number of questionable things that are going on here."

The Metro Council member questioned why the forms were dated and signed by Funk long after the time had supposedly been taken and how Funk's campaign manager could have possibly earned so many days off so soon after going on the Metro payroll.

"I think the thing that is probably the most disturbing for me as a council member and me as a taxpayer in Nashville is the ethical question here - because ethically would I want to do this to the taxpayers of Nashville? For me, the answer is absolutely, emphatically no."

But as NewsChannel 5 Investigates first prepared to do a story, Funk's office came back and claimed that those official forms -- signed by the DA himself -- were all wrong, that Teets was actually at work in the courtroom a lot more than the official records suggested.

So we pulled security records for the DA's Office and the courthouse, showing where Teets used his security card to swipe into work.

Those records do show that he swiped in every day for the first three weeks.

There was a smattering of no-swipe days over the next three months.

Still, he does appear to have swiped into the office more often than not.

But right after the first of the year, a team leader in the D-A's Office sent out this email saying, "Seems Teets has moved on to another political election."

That election: Bill Freeman's campaign for mayor.

 

 

In an email to NewsChannel 5, Teets said, "I expected to be hired by Bill Freeman's campaign in early January."

But that didn't happen as soon as he thought.

He added, "I only remember there being a few days, I think less than a week, that I wasn't on the schedule at the DA's Office."

But even then, Glenn Funk kept paying him.

In fact, records show Teets stayed on the DA's payroll for another five weeks.

Security records show just five swipe days in those five weeks -- and court records show only four days where he's actually listed on dockets as being in the courtroom.

 

 

And while Funk's office claims Teets was in the courtroom on many other days, they refused to provide any documentation to back up those claims.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Glover, "If they say he was in court, they should be able to document that?"

"Absolutely, absolutely," he answered.

Glover said something just doesn't add up.

"There has to be a trail for if this individual was working. If he wasn't, then I think the taxpayers got cheated."

What seems very clear from the records provided to NewsChannel 5 is that the campaign manager did not have to follow office rules that time-off must be approved in writing in advance.

While we cannot say exactly how many paid days he got off, it appears to be more than he would have been entitled to under either state or Metro vacation rules.

Teets declined to be interviewed.

By email, he insisted the security swipes are not an accurate reflection of when he actually worked, although - again - he could not provide any documentation of what work he actually did in those last five weeks that he was on the payroll.

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