Woodbury Police Chief Indicted By Federal Grand Jury For Stealing Federal Grant Funds
Kevin Mooneyham, 47, of Woodbury, Tennessee, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury, and charged with stealing federal program funds and wire fraud, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Mooneyham, who is the Chief of the Woodbury Police Department, was arrested this morning by TBI agents and will appear before a United States Magistrate Judge later today.
“Funds designated for alcohol enforcement programs are made available to local law enforcement agencies with the underlying purpose of deterring drunk driving and ultimately saving lives,” said U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “Mooneyham’s scheme to steal these grant moneys prevented the officers of his department from conducting these enforcement programs and placed the community at a greater risk.”
According to the indictment, from 2013 until March 2015, Mooneyham, in his role as Chief of the Woodbury Police Department, was responsible for administering and overseeing the overtime grants provided by the Governors Highway Safety Office to the Town of Woodbury, Tenn. These funds were awarded exclusively for the purpose of alcohol enforcement, the majority of which were used to pay overtime for officers engaged in DUI enforcement such as saturations and checkpoints.
During this time, Mooneyham fraudulently prepared and submitted false timesheets for overtime hours, misrepresenting the fact that he had worked DUI enforcement, when he in fact had not worked. The submission of these false timesheets resulted in Mooneyham being paid more than $25,000 to which he was not entitled. These stolen funds were derived from federal grants provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, to be used exclusively for DUI and alcohol enforcement programs.
The indictment also alleges that numerous officers of the Woodbury Police Department expressed an interest in working GHSO overtime patrols but were informed by Mooneyham that no funds were available. When city officials inquired about other officers working overtime patrols, Mooneyham informed them that no officers were interested.
The indictment further alleges that Mooneyham received approximately 91% of the overtime that was paid pursuant to these federal grants to employees of the Woodbury Police Department in 2014, and that he received 100% of such overtime paid during the first quarter of 2015.
“Though the arrest of a law enforcement leader is very disappointing, the public rightfully expects that grant money like this will benefit the community, not its police chief,” said Mark Gwyn, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“The citizens of this community and our law enforcement officers are greatly disappointed to find that a public servant, held to such a position of trust, has instead violated that trust and his oath of office,” said Jennings Jones, District Attorney General for the 16th Judicial District.
If convicted, Mooneyham faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for theft of federal program funds and up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, for wire fraud. He also faces forfeiture of the proceeds of his offenses.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. This defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely.