Officials say charges have yet to be filed against an employee of 19 years at the university who has admitted to pocketing change from the school in the amount of $20,000.
James Everett, a 48-year-old employee of UT Libraries, was originally suspended with pay on Nov. 20 by Ken Wise, a library administrator, after Everett was accused of stealing from various copy card machines in libraries on campus.
Everett made a statement after the accusation, admitting to the crime. In his statement, Everett estimated that he has stolen $20,000 from the libraries over the past two years although an audit is still underway to determine the exact amount.
“Everett was fired after this came to light,” UT spokeswoman Amy Blakely said.
Everett worked in the digital production department in the John C. Hodges Library. One of his job responsibilities was to collect money from the card regenerators at Hodges, Hoskins and the Music Building libraries, a UT police report said.
The copy card machines serve as an alternative to the Vol Card system in the libraries. Students put cash into the machines, located next to copy machines in the Commons and other areas of the library. A card is ejected from the equipment that can then be swiped through the copy machine and used as a debit card for copies.
“The university’s investigation is continuing to determine exactly how much money was missing and when the problem began,” Blakely said.
UTPD detective Dana McReynolds handled the case.
“We were called out to the library after the theft was discovered because of the possible criminal charges. Whether those charges will be pressed is up to the school and the Knox County district attorney general’s office,” McReynolds said.
Although the details have yet to be released, the UTPD said they believe that Everett pocketed a small amount of money from the machines every so often over an extended period of time. How Everett was able to do this without being discovered by the administration until now and whether he will be asked to return the money is unknown.