Terrell tax commissioner defends performance as audit is sent - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Terrell tax commissioner defends performance as audit is sent

Tax Commissioner Peggy Pritchard Tax Commissioner Peggy Pritchard
Chairman Gamble Chairman Gamble
Commissioner Lucius Holloway Commissioner Lucius Holloway

The Terrell County tax commissioner's job could be on the line, but she says the problems will continue if she doesn't get more help.  

County commissioners voted Wednesday to send an audit report to the governor's office.     Commissioners say this special audit which they requested shows some of the same, repeated problems as an earlier audit.  

"How do you explain that?" asked Commissioner Lucius Holloway. "They hadn't been posted. You don't have time? All of us have 8 to 12 hour days."    

Terrell County Commissioners questioned tax commissioner Peggy Pritchard during Wednesday's commission meeting about a recent audit showing poor procedures.  

"There's never been any question from me nor the board of any shortages or embezzlement. But there's been a lot of things that have not been properly done," said Commission Chairman Wilbur T. Gamble, Jr,  

"There's no time for me to audit," said Pritchard.     

Pritchard says she's been shorthanded and needs more help. "Even when we started, and I've been here 40 years, I started off with the same amount of help I have now. But the government keeps adding [work] to that."    

Some commissioners feel that's no excuse for not depositing checks in a timely manner or turning the money over to the appropriate agency.

"We all work on eight hours a day," said Commissioner Holloway.  "And if need be, work 12 hours a day. So it's hard for me to understand that why you got 8 to 12 hours to do a job and you don't have time to do it. That raises serious questions with me."    

Governor Nathan Deal reviewed an audit last year, but didn't take action. He sent a letter to the county attorney saying "If the Board of Commissioners does not believe this issue has been resolved, please submit it to my office."  

"We just had it re verified that what was in the first audit was continued, because we thought and hoped that it would have changed," said Gamble. But it did not? "Well it didn't change really."    

Commissioners unanimously voted to send the newest report back to the Governor.

"I'm glad it's going back to the Governor. So what he does, I'll just have to wait and see," said Commissioner Holloway.

"I've done my job and I think the Governor knows that," said Peggy Pritchard. "And if I get removed that would be the Lord's will, not mine. But the people have voted me in for 40 years, and I think they speak to that."  

When the Governor will respond is anyone's guess.  The tax commissioner is an elected official, so in this case the board of commissioners cannot remove her from office; only the Governor can.


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