Former highway commissioner took two to five hour lunch breaks w - WRBL

Former highway commissioner took two to five hour lunch breaks with alcohol but didn't commit any crime

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Former Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer Former Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer
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SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - A grand jury report reveals new information about its decision not to indict the former head of the Sullivan County Highway Department.

Sullivan County grand jurors determined yesterday former Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer abused his power prior to his retirement last December. However, grand jurors concluded there was not enough evidence to prove he committed any crimes.

The grand jury report obtained by News Channel 11 reveals the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation uncovered Shaffer took two to five hour lunch breaks where he drank alcohol and occasionally brought along female day workers and also allowed a female day worker to go with him to Nashville where they stayed in the same motel room. The report says Shaffer paid for all of the expenses.

"I'm not pleased that an individual used his office in this way," Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus said following Tuesday's grand jury decision. "I'm glad he's gone."

The county's day worker program allows people found guilty of crimes to complete community service instead of jail time. As a result of the TBI investigation the grand jury did not indict Shaffer but did recommend changes at the highway department to provide better oversight. Grand jurors recommended a better system for day worker time validations where the worker and supervisor sign time sheets under the threat of perjury. They also recommended establishing guidelines for hours worked by day workers and the type of activity justified as community service.

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