Selmer fire chief allegedly altered bids, submitted phony invoices

SELMER, Tenn. — The state Comptroller’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released their findings after allegations of improper transactions were made against the Selmer fire chief.

In a news release, James Polk stated that from January 2012 to January 2016,  there were several questionable interactions between the official and a Kentucky-based equipment supplier including two invoices that the agency said were falsified.

According to records, the fire chief had a local machine shop make needed equipment, then sent the bill to the Kentucky supplier who paid it off. However, a second check for $20,000 was also sent to the supplier for the same merchandise by McNairy County, the state said.

When questioned about the check, the fire chief reportedly claimed the $20,000 covered the machine shop’s $7,500 bill, and the rest was then used to purchase additional equipment. However, investigators have not been able to determine what exactly was purchased.

Another $200 invoice was also allegedly falsified after he used the town’s credit card to make purchases.

During another incident, authorities stated the chief altered bids for two McNairy County fire trucks, allowing the Kentucky company, the lowest bid overall, to walk away with the vehicles.

After the bid had gone through, the fire chief allegedly went back and added $31,000 worth of equipment to the bid without allowing other companies the chance to put up another offer.

The results of the investigation have been given to the district attorney general.