Terrell County tax collector surprised by audit

Terrell County tax collector surprised by audit
Peggy Pritchard
Peggy Pritchard
Ed Collier
Ed Collier

DAWSON, GA (WALB) - The microscope is once again on the Terrell County Tax Commissioner, after another audit shows some operational concerns. But says she's done her best for more than 40 years, and just needs additional help.

Terrell County Tax Commissioner Peggy Pritchard was caught off guard with the latest county audit. "I was surprised at the indepthness of it I guess."

Pritchard and the county commissioners received this letter, dated November 17th, from Garland, Williams, and Associates. It points out four areas of operational concerns, similar to the last audit.

"The most recent audit seems to be a little more detailed regarding the areas that need to be addressed by the tax commissioner," said Terrell County Attorney Ed Collier.

One of the issues was a check for more than $14,000 that was deposited a month later, then was returned for insufficient funds. It was never collected, and was turned over to the Sheriff's Office 10 months after the check was written.

"There was one, yes, and that was a problem," Pritchard said. "The check was not supposed to go to the Sheriff for collection. We were collecting it."

Pritchard says she's done her job for nearly 41 years, and needs more help in her office. "We collect millions of dollars and I need somebody that's honest, somebody that knows what they're doing. That I don't have to go behind them and check. If I have to do that, I don't need them."

Commissioners initially sent a letter to Governor Nathan Deal in March 2013. He refused to remove her from office, but asked to be kept up to date on her job performance.

The county attorney sent another letter in June stating the problems continued. "This was the second letter we had sent to him. And have not to date heard from the Governor at all," said Collier.

Pritchard says, whatever happens, she has no regrets. "I've enjoyed it the whole time. If the Governor gets rid of me that will be fine. I know that I've given my time. I know I've given my best."

The Governor's Office told me they received the second letter and passed it to the Department of Revenue and the GBI, who will investigate.

The two commissioners I was able to speak to today, would not go on camera, but say they are concerned about this latest audit.

It is expected to be addressed at their January 7th meeting.

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