Newton to send fi­nan­cial re­port to law en­force­ment

The Covington News - - NEWS - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

Af­ter re­view­ing a foren­sic au­dit of var­i­ous de­part­ments within the Newton County Gov­ern­ment Thurs­day evening, the board of com­mis­sion­ers (BOC) voted to send the fi­nan­cial doc­u­ment to “an ap­pro­pri­ate law en­force­ment agency.”

The vote, which was 4-1 in fa­vor with District 4 Com­mis­sioner J.C. Hen­der­son vot­ing against, came af­ter an ex­ecu- tive ses­sion that lasted more than 2.5 hours. As soon as the board broke from its ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion — a meet­ing be­hind closed doors to dis­cuss cer­tain types of le­gal mat­ters such as per­son­nel — District 5 Com­mis­sioner Le­vie Mad­dox made a mo­tion.

“I make a mo­tion to ap­prove Mr. David Sawyer’s pre­sen­ta­tion of the foren­sic ac­count­ing anal­y­sis to an ap­pro­pri­ate law en­force­ment agency,” Mad­dox said.

District 2 Com­mis­sioner Lanier Sims sec­onded the mo­tion.

Hen­der­son felt a de­ci­sion on the ac­count­ing anal­y­sis should not be made now.

“I’ve seen most of the re­port —a por­tion wasn’t given to us,” he said. “And, I’m a firm believer that if you’re go­ing to ac­cuse a per­son, he or she should have an op­por­tu­nity to at least be in­ter­viewed. I think in most of those cases they were not.”

No other com­ments were made about the ac­count­ing re­port or the ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion.

The firm of Fra­zier and Deeter CPAs and Ad­vi­sors, of At­lanta, was hired by the BOC ear­lier this year and was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the county’s land­fill, reser­voir, trash col­lec­tion con­ve­nience cen­ters, recre­ation de­part­ment, SPLOST and Im­pact Fees, road and pub­lic works and the Wash­ing­ton Street and Nel­son Heights com­mu­nity cen­ters.

In May, David Sawyer, of Fra­zier and Deeter, pre­sented his find­ings to the BOC on the com­mu­nity cen­ters.

Sawyer was at the Newton County His­toric Court­house for the BOC’s ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion Thurs­day evening.

Sawyer’s most re­cent re­port will be made a pub­lic record, as de­ter­mined by state law, af­ter 10 busi­ness days on Nov. 28, ac­cord­ing to Newton County At­tor­ney Megan Martin. If the county takes em­ploy­ment ac­tion as a re­sult of the re­port find­ings, the sec­tions of the re­port may be with­held un­til 10 days af­ter the ac­tion is taken, Martin said.

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