Terrell commissioners talk about tax audit

Terrell commissioners talk about tax audit
Commissioner Holloway
Commissioner Holloway

DAWSON, GA (WALB) - Some Terrell County Commissioners speak out for the first time about an audit we told you about last month, showing problems in the tax commissioner's office.

Commissioners voted to send the latest audit to the Governor's office, after years of questionable reports. This as the Department of Revenue and the GBI investigates another audit from June.

But Peggy Pritchard stands by her operations. Some Terrell County Commissioners expressed concerns during today's meeting about a recent audit of the tax commissioner's office.

"The press calling me, I can't give an answer. Something needs to be done about it one way or the other. She's going to tell us how the office operates, but look at this audit. Yes, yes, it needs to be sent," said Commissioner Lucius Holloway.

The board voted to send the November 14th audit to the Governor's office.

"I definitely hope the Governor's office takes some kind of action that will be suitable for the citizens of Terrell County because it's their money we're dealing with," said Holloway.

The audit points out four areas of concern.

More than $207,000 were not properly posted, and therefore couldn't be distributed.

"It ain't fair to the taxpayers that I represent to walk off and leave it. They pay our taxes to support our county and the county's priorities. And if that money is not properly placed where it can be used, it can't be spent," Holloway said.

And a check deposited a month later, causing insufficient funds that were never collected.

"I never thought there was any fraud or embezzlement. Now had I thought that, it would have been different. But I would like to see the checks deposited that day or the next day," said Chairman Wilbur Gamble.

Tax Commissioner Peggy Pritchard defended her office.

"I just wanted you to know that our office doesn't sit there on our behinds and do nothing."

She says when other departments fall behind, it reflects poorly on her department. But she never addressed the recent audit, or any of those areas of concern.

"I took no stock in what she said, none at all," said Holloway. "It seems to me, if she knows how the office operates, then these discrepancies wouldn't be. So to me she contradicted herself and for that reason I didn't have anything to say because she shot her own self in the foot."

For now commissioners will wait on a response from state officials.

Peggy Pritchard has been in office for nearly 41 years, and her current term expires in 2016. Because she's an elected official, the county commission has no power to remove her from office.

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