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Posted: November 10, 2016 9:49 p.m.

Newton County to send financial report to law enforcement

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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 executive session that lasted more than 2 ½ 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 have been made at this time.

“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 based on the report, Martin said.

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