Loudon County jail fund under investigation

Money missing from the Loudon County jail coffers has drawn the eye of state investigators, authorities said Wednesday.

That jail has a new administrator, but officials won’t say why.

A routine audit of the jail’s commissary fund by the state Comptroller’s Office turned up the discrepancy, Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis said.

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He said he didn’t know of any other funds affected by the audit.

Auditors informed Sheriff Tim Guider on Friday, who notified Russell Johnson, 9th Judicial District attorney general.

Johnson called in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this week, TBI spokeswoman Susan Niland said.

“We opened an investigation Monday,” Niland said.

Lt. Teresa Smith had served as jail administrator for years but was recently replaced by Lt. Jake Keener, Davis said.

Davis wouldn’t say why or explain Smith’s employment status with the county — whether she resigned, was fired, was placed on leave or otherwise.

“It’s a situation that called for an outside review,” Davis said.

Guider couldn’t be reached Wednesday.

Calls to the Loudon County’s Human Resources Department went unanswered.

Smith didn’t respond to phone calls.

Davis said he didn’t know how much money was missing from the fund, and state officials said the final audit report wasn’t complete Wednesday.

“The Loudon County audit is scheduled to be released early in the audit cycle,” said John Dunn, spokesman for the Comptroller’s Office. “Any findings related to the commissary will be included in that final audit report. It is our policy not to comment further.”

No charges have been filed. Officials haven’t said how long the investigation might take.