NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) -- Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper filed a lawsuit Thursday in an effort to remove a Lewis County trustee from office for allegedly stealing nearly $45,000 from his office.

Clark Carroll allegedly wrote checks payable to himself or to cash and failed to deposit cash received by his office for property payments on multiple occasions between Oct. 24, 2011 and June 15. The lawsuit also alleges Carroll admitted to unlawfully taking the funds for personal use.

Carroll was elected as Lewis County Trustee and took office Sept. 1, 2010. Carroll is paid $58,739 annually to collect taxes from Lewis County citizens. His current term expires Aug. 31, 2014.

Cooper's office is required to look into allegations of wrongdoing and institute ouster proceedings against a public officer if there is reasonable cause to believe the officer violated state law while conducting the duties of his office.

In July 2012, the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury conducted an annual audit of Carroll's office and alleged that Carroll wrote checks from the county's bank account to himself.

The audit also allegedly found that Carroll failed to deposit cash into county accounts and fabricated information on check memos, deposit receipts and check stubs.

Cooper's lawsuit alleges that Carroll engaged in official misconduct and forgery, stole property, failed to deposit official funds and failed to reimburse public funds.

The attorney general requested the court suspend Carroll pending the final adjudication of the case and set a hearing date.

More News