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Police reports released in probe of mayor's cash

Associated Press • May 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police reports show that Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett called off an investigation of $900 in cash missing from his office just as officers were moving toward giving polygraph tests to two members of his staff.

The Knoxville Police Department reports obtained Thursday by the Knoxville News Sentinel show that investigators were preparing to administer polygraphs to Burchett's chief executive assistant, Diana Wilson, and his constituent services manager, Jonathan Griswold.

Wilson reported a theft to police on April 2 after she and other employees couldn't find an envelope with nine $100 bills that she had left under a blotter on Burchett's desk.

The report says an employee had been in the office to get a map for a community meeting and a custodian had cleaned in there as well.

A few days later an officer interviewed Wilson and Knox County Communications Manager Michael Grider, who had gone into Burchett's office to pick up a map. The officer wrote in the report, "There is nothing that would indicate they are responsible for the theft."

The investigator contacted Burchett's chief of staff, Dean Rice, to arrange interviews of the rest of the mayor's staff. A few hours later, Rice told police the money had been found.

Griswold said he found the cash on the floor near Wilson's desk.

Burchett asked police to stop the investigation on April 24, saying the money had just been misplaced. He first described the cash as part of his earnings as mayor but later said it was repayment of a personal loan.

He declined to comment about the release of the police reports and said his employees also wouldn't comment.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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