KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A former parole officer accused of keeping fines and pees paid by Knoxville area convicts for himself has been officially fired, the state Dept. of Corrections announced on Tuesday. Joshua Keith DeBord faces charges of Theft over $500.
Commissioner Derrick Schofield called the accusations a serious breach of the public trust. He said DeBord's termination will be effective January 28, 2013.
The Dept. of Corrections also pointed out it hopes to stem such potential abuse through a new automated fee payment system that goes into effect in June. With the new system, offenders on parole and probation will be able to pay their court-ordered fines, fees, and restitution online rather than by giving cash or money orders to their parole officers.
“As part of the top to bottom review of our agency, we determined an automated system would increase efficiency and free up our probation/parole officers to spend more time in the community supervising offenders,” Commissioner Schofield said.