Penalties for Failure to Perform Duties

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If the trustee refuses to pay any county warrant or legal demand, it is a Class C misdemeanor for which the trustee may be removed from office unless such disbursement would have exhausted the funds on hand.  T.C.A. § 8‑11‑105.  The trustee's sureties (on the trustee's bond) may be held liable if the county suffers losses as a result of the trustee’s failure to pay money owing by the county or to collect money due to the county.  T.C.A. § 8‑11­-106.  This is also true if the trustee pays claims in the wrong priority.  Howard v. Horner, 30 Tenn. 532 (1851).

If a trustee fails to charge or collect from those liable, and if by using reasonable diligence could have collected fees, commissions, or other compensation to which the county is entitled, or if the trustee fails to present the statement of receipts, then the trustee will be held individually liable to the county for the amount which should have been collected.  This amount will be charged to the trustee and will be deducted from the trustee's salary or will be collected from the trustee as a personal debt.  T.C.A. § 8‑22‑105. 

A trustee who makes or conspires with anyone, in any manner, to make a false or incorrect exhibit of receipts, statement of expenses, or statement of fact required under the statutes relating to accounting for fees, commits a Class E felony and upon conviction may be fined and imprisoned.  T.C.A. § 8‑22‑106.

If the trustee fails or refuses to furnish the county mayor with any vouchers or papers deemed necessary by the county mayor for perfecting any settlement with any person accountable for county revenue, refuses to receive county warrants in payment of county taxes, or refuses to settle or pay as required by law, the circuit court, upon motion, will impose a $500 forfeiture upon the trustee.  T.C.A. § 8-11-108.  This forfeiture could be paid from the surety on the trustee's bond.  According to this provision  the trustee is required to accept a county warrant as payment for county taxes.

A trustee who, upon going out of office, fails to pay over the balance of revenue to the new trustee shall be liable, as are the sureties on the trustee's bond, on motion of the district attorney before the circuit court.  T.C.A. § 8‑11‑109