Woman arrested for forging GED in Hawkins County 911 job application

Jeff Bobo • Sep 25, 2012 at 3:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County woman was arrested last week for allegedly forging a General Education Diploma (GED) in her job application with Hawkins County 911 Central Dispatch.Tammie Denise Horton, 43, 762 Caney Creek Road, Rogersville, was hired in 2008 as a 911 dispatcher and worked part time for a couple of years, but according to 911 director Gay Murrell hasn’t worked for some time.Murrell told the Times-News Tuesday Horton was a competent worker and apparently stopped working as a dispatcher because she found another job. The alleged forged GED was discovered as a result of a mandatory annual audit at Hawkins 911, after which it was turned over to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.HCSO Detective John Pruitt, who investigated the case, said the GED in question was issued May 4, 1988, with the class having been completed on April 20, 1988. “A check with Cherokee High School concerning Mrs. Horton’s academic records revealed she stopped attending high school in 1984,” Pruitt said. “There wasn’t any evidence of her obtaining, or even attending classes, to receive her GED.”Pruitt checked with Walters State Community College where GED testing is performed, as well as the Tennessee Department of Education in Nashville, and there wasn’t any record of Horton receiving a GED.“The GED itself appears to be a forged document, as it doesn’t resemble GED documents from that time period,” Pruitt said. “The GED has the signature of Ronald L. McElrath who was state commissioner of education from 1981 to 1987. Since the GED was issued in May of 1988, Charles E. smith’s signature should have been there instead.”Falsifying educational records is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. Horton was arrested and released on bond Friday, and is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Oct. 1.

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