COOKEVILLE – A joint investigation by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agents and state comptroller’s investigators resulted in the indictment and arrest of the Smithville mayor and his son.
At the request of 13th District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, agents and investigators started an investigation March 7 into theft allegations from the city of Smithville that involved Mayor Jimmy Poss and his son, Tony Poss.
During the investigation, agents developed information the two suspects were responsible for the theft through the unlawful payment of wages from Jimmy Poss to Anthony Poss from August 2017 through March. Investigators found Jimmy Poss apparently created a part-time salaried position and hired his son to work for the city of Smithville for $300 a week in August 2017. Tony Poss was paid $8,100 during the next six months.
According to the comptroller’s office, Jimmy Poss failed to follow city policy and the city’s charter because he didn’t get approval from the city council before he created the new job and hired his son.
The mayor did not advertise the position or seek applications for it. He also did not have his son complete a job application as required by city policy.
Furthermore, investigators said Jimmy Poss violated the city’s nepotism policy by hiring and then supervising his son. The policy prohibits city leaders from hiring family members unless a “clear business reason exists.” The policy also prohibits supervising immediate family members.
Tony Poss’ job responsibilities included ensuring irrigation boxes at the city’s golf course were maintained and the city’s pool was kept at an adequate water level. Both of the tasks were already performed by the public works department and a city contractor. Tony Poss did not maintain time and attendance records for the work he performed.
A DeKalb County grand jury returned indictments Monday that charged Jimmy Wayne Poss, 71, with one count of official misconduct and one count of theft of more than $2,500. Anthony Wayne Poss, 50, was charged with one count of theft of more than $2,500. Both men were arrested Tuesday morning and booked in at the DeKalb County Jail. Jimmy Poss’ bond was set at $5,000. Anthony Poss’ bond was set at $2,500.
To view the investigative report, visit comptroller.tn.gov/ia.