City of Kingsport issues statement following indictment of former program coordinator with misconduct | WJHL

KINGSPORT, Tennessee (WJHL) – The city of Kingsport issued a statement after the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office announced that a former community development program coordinator had been charged with 20 counts of official misconduct.

According to the city, authorities have been notified of the indictment and arrest of Mark Haga.

“The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Tennessee Treasury Comptroller,” the statement said. “The disbursement and monitoring of these funds was the primary responsibility of this former employee. “

The comptroller’s office reported that Haga had contracted his brother-in-law’s construction company for home repair projects. His brother-in-law’s business reportedly received payments through the town in the amount of over $ 700,000.

“Neither the mayor’s council and aldermen, nor the current administration of the city manager, were aware of any problems or concerns regarding the disbursement and monitoring of this federally funded program,” the statement said.

The city says none of the cases for which Haga is being investigated have been identified.

The release said a number of Kingsport’s federally funded programs are “subject to review by federal agencies.” City officials say problems with the investigation were not discovered during an annual audit or review conducted by a federal agency.

The projects from which Haga’s accusations stemmed took place between March 2008 and January 2020, according to the comptroller’s office. Two of the projects totaled $ 18,100 and resulted in work being done on the house of Haga’s sister-in-law.

“The City of Kingsport has fully cooperated with the Comptroller’s Office throughout the investigation process and will continue to cooperate with authorities in the future,” the statement said. “However, the city has already taken many steps to strengthen surveillance and prevent further incidents of this nature in the future.”

The city has yet to conduct its own investigation to avoid interfering with that of the controller. City officials are now planning to conduct an internal investigation and take further action if necessary.

To read the controller’s full investigation report, click here.

You can read the full City of Kingsport statement below:

“The Town of Kingsport has been made aware of the recent charge and arrest of a former employee. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. The disbursement and monitoring of these funds was the primary responsibility of this former employee.

Neither the mayor’s council and aldermen, nor the current administration of the city manager, were aware of any issues or concerns regarding the disbursement and oversight of this federally funded program.

Despite annual audits of the city’s financial records, none of the issues under investigation were ever identified. In addition, many city programs that receive federal funding are subject to review by federal agencies. No issues or concerns have ever been identified as a result of a federal audit or review.

The City of Kingsport has fully cooperated with the Office of the Comptroller throughout the investigation process and will continue to cooperate with authorities in the future. However, the city has already taken many steps to strengthen surveillance and prevent further incidents of this nature in the future.

In order not to interfere with the comptroller’s investigation, the city has yet to conduct its own investigation into the matter. The city will now conduct an internal investigation into the disbursement and monitoring of the Community Development Block Grant funds in question and, if necessary, take further corrective action. To the extent that current city employees are found to have been involved in improper disbursement or monitoring of grant funds, the city will take appropriate action. “

Town of Kingsport


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