WJTV News Channel 12 - Update: No criminal investigation or pending civil action regar

Update: No criminal investigation or pending civil action regarding payment of unearned sick pay to Craig Masters

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Following our story last night, former sheriff Kent Harris took to Facebook to comment on our story and criticize his former employee, Sheriff Mike Hensley. Following our story last night, former sheriff Kent Harris took to Facebook to comment on our story and criticize his former employee, Sheriff Mike Hensley.
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UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - News Channel 11 has new information about two audits into the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department.  The audits found the part time administrative assistant, Craig Masters, collected sick pay he wasn't eligible to earn.  Masters is currently repaying those amounts.  The day after our report aired, former Sheriff Kent Harris expressed his opinion on the story to our Facebook page, which we reported to you.  Since then, the District Attorney and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have confirmed to us there is no criminal investigation against Masters or the Sheriff’s Department.  News Channel 11 has also confirmed that there are no civil charges pending against either Masters or the Sheriff’s Department arising from the payment of unearned sick pay to Masters.   

Previous story: 

Unicoi County's former sheriff is taking shots at his successor after a Community Watchdog investigation uncovered a part-time administrative assistant received almost $5,000 in sick pay last year; money the department should have never paid him.

As we reported last night, after a state audit found the problem part-time administrative assistant Craig Masters agreed to reimburse the county. As of September 1st, he had paid back $1,500.

Auditors determined because Masters is a part-time employee, he was not eligible for the 146 hours of sick pay he received in 2012.

The county mayor chalked it up to a mistake.

Following our story last night, former sheriff Kent Harris took to Facebook to comment on our story and criticize his former employee, Sheriff Mike Hensley.

Here's exactly how the post looks:

"[A] mistake is getting one check you are not due and turning it back in. When you keep almost five [thousand] dollars you are not due and only start to pay it back when state auditors force your hand that is fraud and theft -- which is something Masters and Mike Hensley know well.  I  thought Mike Hensley was all about [transparency] why is he failing to speak after repeated attempts? My hope is Unicoi County will get a honest sheriff in next year's election. Mike Hensley -- believe me --will do, say, even swear to lies to get what he wants."

Harris left office after Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents launched a criminal investigation. However, after two hung juries prosecutors dropped their case.

We tried contacting Sheriff Hensley again today but have still not been able to reach him for comment.

Tuesday's story:  Sheriff's department employee reimbursing county after receiving unearned sick pay

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