Watchdog group highlights wasteful government spending in "Pork Report"
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
In the organization's 11th annual Tennessee Pork Report, the Nashville-based Beacon Center says state and local government officials in Tennessee squandered $480 million of taxpayers' money this past year.
The Beacon Center says its report highlights a multitude of examples that show the mismanagement of taxpayer funds in Tennessee.
For the second consecutive year, the Beacon Center allowed the people of Tennessee to pick the infamous "Pork of the Year" award in an online poll. After hundreds of votes, the "winner" of the award was the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion.
The Beacon Center highlights other examples of what it labels as government waste from the Chattanooga area that include:
- $200,000 to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.
- $900,000 in what it calls "Washington-style earmarks" for Hamilton County commissioners' pet political projects
- $125,000 that the Accounting Director of the South Pittsburg Housing Authority stole from taxpayers for personal purchases
"While the Chattanooga area isn't as bad as cities like Nashville, there are still examples of fraud and abuse of public funds in this year's Pork Report," said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. "Whether it is $900,000 for Hamilton County commissioners to waste on their favored political projects with no real oversight or the $100,000+ of theft and embezzlement in South Pittsburg, there is certainly room for improvement in how Chattanooga-area politicians spend hard-earned tax dollars."
Read the full report below.