TCSO Chief Deputy Billy Daugherty, who’s been with the department for decades, will be the new chief financial officer at the Tipton County school board.

In a surprising move on Tuesday Tipton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Billy Daugherty announced he would be leaving law enforcement.

When the new fiscal year begins on July 1, Daugherty will transition from chief deputy to chief financial officer at the Tipton County Schools district.

“This has been a very, very emotional decision for me,” he said. “Public service is my identity, it’s who I am.”


The announcement comes days after current TCS CFO Peggy Barber Murdock announced she would be retiring and moving on to Tipton Christian Academy.

Daugherty began his career with the sheriff’s office in 1998 and has worked his way up through the agency.

Known for his shrewd professional expertise, Daugherty has served as second in command in Sheriff Pancho Chumley’s administration since he was appointed chief deputy in July 2008. He is considered by many to be a key strategist and organizer in much of Chumley’s administrative success.

In this role he has been responsible for a vast array of both administrative and operational functions as he managed the day-to-day, departmental operations of the patrol, corrections, courts, criminal investigations and administrative divisions.

While moving from working in a law enforcement environment to the school district’s administrative office seems like different worlds, Daugherty will be responsible for many of the same duties he’s performed for the last 15 years.

With TCSO he has performed the planning, development, administration and supervision of a multimillion dollar budget, which is second only to the Tipton County Schools budget.

He has supervised the monitoring of state and federal grants, processed payroll for sheriff’s office employees, administered internal controls and coordinated with state auditing officials in annual reviews. For many years Daugherty has also worked closely with the Tipton County legislative body’s Finance & Administration Committee in presenting TCSO’s budgets and amendments.

Under his leadership, comptroller inspections of the sheriff’s office have garnered clean audits year after year. In fact, Daugherty has been the recipient of a meritorious service award for significant contributions and success in ensuringthe sheriff’s office overall fiscal operations were conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and governmental accounting standards.

“I owe a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Bruce Petty, the late Tipton County Budget and Finance Director. He took me under his wing in 2006, spent a lot of time teaching me, and helping me to learn the fundamentals of local government finance.”

Daugherty is a graduate of Dyersburg State Community College and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Staff and Command College. He most recently earned the certified public administrator designation from the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Assistance Services.

In addition to decades of public service through law enforcement, he is also dedicated to serving the community through various involvement efforts.

He is an ordained deacon with the Tennessee Southern Baptist Association and attends Covington First Baptist Church where he serves as a Sunday School teacher and a member of the personnel committee.

He’s also been a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #74, Tipton County Child Protective Investigative Team, Tipton County Civil Service Board, DSCC’s Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, Tipton County CASA, Tennessee Public Safety Network board of directors, Drug-Free Tipton, Exchange Club-Carl Perkins Center, tnAchieves mentor and more. Through many of these organizations he’s held leadership positions.

Daugherty said he will continue those in some capacity as he moves on.

It’s hard to put into words, after most of his life in the same career path, what he will miss the most.

He is most proud of the work this administration has accomplished.

“My professional public service successes are a direct result of the many years of mentorship by Sheriff Pancho Chumley. I owe him much for the investment he has made in me over the years. I don’t have to tell you he is second to none when it comes to the public safety business.”

His last day will be June 30. He will begin his employment with TCS the following day.

And while he’s very emotional, he’s eager for the next step.

“I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity. I appreciate the confidence Dr. John Combs and the Tipton County Schools have placed in me.”

“Chief Daugherty has a solid reputation as a man of honor, a man of conviction, and a stickler for detail,” said Tipton County Director of Schools Dr. John Combs. “His experience overseeing one of the largest budgets in the county will transfer nicely to this new role. Although we are saddened that our local law enforcement is losing such a great leader, we are excited that he will be joining our TCS team.”

Daugherty and his wife, who is an educator, live in Brighton. They are the parents of Lauren, also an educator, and grandparents of Henry, whom he hopes to spend more time enjoying.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.