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DA looking into missing records

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

rclawrence@bellsouth.net

District Attorney General Russell Johnson is looking into the disappearance of some records that have come up missing from the Roane County budget director's office. The TBI is involved in the investigation.

Johnson said the missing records are travel and expense reports for fiscal year 2007 for Roane County Property Assessor Teresa Kirkham.

“That doesn't mean that she took it,” Johnson said. “That doesn't mean that Steve Robinette took it, or any mutual third party. It could merely just be missing.”

Kirkham is currently embroiled in a bitter political campaign with Robinette, who is challenging her for the property assessor's job which will be decided on Aug. 7. Johnson said he had no immediate plans to speak with Robinette.

“Unless someone would indicate to us that he took it, which I don't have any indication of that whatsoever,” Johnson said. “Either he or Ms. Kirkham.”

The missing records could have audit repercussions for the county. Johnson said he requested through Kirkham's attorney, J. Polk Cooley, that she try to locate a copy of the records.

“If she has one, and if she would provide us her copy then that would take care of any problem with the record being gone as far as the budget director's concerned,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the TBI involvement is strictly in an assistance role.

“I'm leading and conducting the investigation and consulting with them as to what I find,” Johnson said. “There's no evidence that a crime has been committed, so there's no reason to predicate a TBI investigation at this point.”