Former County Planning Office Worker Charged in TBI Theft, Misconduct Case

Monday, January 25, 2016 | 09:36pm

JOHNSON CITY – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for a former employee of the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Office in connection to a theft and misconduct investigation.

On August 7, 2015, at the request of 4th District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, TBI Special Agents began investigating reports of missing funds totaling more than $11,000 from the office, originally discovered by an internal audit and subsequently confirmed by an audit by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information which led to Rhonda Michelle Reece as the individual responsible for the missing funds. The county terminated Reece’s employment in June 2015, before it learned of the discrepancy.

On January 11th, the Jefferson County Grand Jury returned indictments for the 37-year-old Newport woman, charging her with one count of Theft over $10,000, one count of Theft over $1,000, and four counts of Official Misconduct. This afternoon, Agents arrested her without incident and booked her into the Jefferson County Jail.