Tennessee Mayor Arrested On Misconduct Charges After Using Town Lawnmower For Personal Benefit

Tennessee Comptroller's Office

Kaitlin Housler Contributor
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The Mayor of Ashland, Tennessee, was arrested Tuesday morning on multiple offenses and has been indicted on three counts of felony official misconduct after using a town-owned public lawnmower on three occasions for his personal benefit, according to WKRN.

Steve Allen posted bond and was released nearly 45 minutes after being booked, the outlet notes. The Mayor has admitted that he used the town’s lawnmower on three different occasions in spring 2020 because “his personal lawnmower was in the process of being repaired,” according to a Comptroller’s Investigative Report from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. (RELATED: Gunmaker Smith & Wesson Ditching Massachusetts For Tennessee)

On two of the three times Allen used the lawnmower, Ashland City surveillance video caught him in the act. He was also caught towing a town-owned trailer to haul the equipment from the Public Works/Utilities Building. Additional footage caught the Mayor using town equipment and personnel to fix a damaged tire on his personal lawnmower.

The report also raises concerns about Allen making “75 questionable meal purchases using the town’s credit card totaling $3,290.53, during the period January 2019 through September 1, 2021.”

Ashland has credit cards that are issued to a select number of city employees, and pays the balances of each month. The Mayor had sole possession of a card he used for the meal purchases and “failed to provide adequate supporting documentation for 27 of these purchases,” the report notes.

John Dunn, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, responded to the food purchases made by Allen, saying, “Even though it might seem like a relatively small amount of money, we have to realize that this is taxpayer money – this is public funds.”

Allen was previously elected to serve a four-year term, ending in December of 2023.