Former Rossville Public Works Director Accused of Using City Funds for Personal Purchases

October 6, 2023
1 min read

The Gist: Mark Harris, former director of Rossville Public Works and ex-fire captain, faces charges after allegedly using city funds for personal purchases.

The Details: Harris, 53, from Rossville, has been hit with charges including theft by taking and false statements/writings.

At the heart of this controversy? Misuse of the City of Rossville’s credit card. On the 14th of September, Lookout Mountain District Attorney Clay Fuller initiated an inquiry into Harris’s actions. Fast forward to October 4, and a search of Harris’s home reveals a trove of items, among them a Toro self-propelled lawn mower. All were apparently bought using the city’s dime.

According to the GBI, by day’s end, Harris had handed back even more items, ranging from a DeWalt standing spotlight to a Midea window air conditioning unit. The recovered items found their way back to their rightful owner: the City of Rossville Public Works Department.

The Items:

  • Items fraudulently bought and now returned include:
    • 1 Toro self-propelled lawn mower
    • 1 DeWalt standing spotlight
    • 1 DeWalt utility table
    • 1 DeWalt 4000 Psi gas pressure washer
    • Multiple DeWalt tools such as angle grinder, jigsaw, and turbo leaf blower
    • 1 Midea window air conditioning unit
    • 1 Milwaukee angle reciprocating saw
    • 1 Gorilla brand 4 ft stationary step ladder
    • Plus, various other tools and materials.

Why It Matters: When city leaders are alleged to abuse the public’s trust and money, it erodes faith in local government and calls for more stringent oversight. Every dollar misspent is a dollar not used for the community.

What’s Next: Mark Harris has been released on bond from the Walker County Jail. A trial will follow.

⚠️ Reminder: Crime articles contain only charges and information from police reports and law enforcement statements. Suspects and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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