District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson accused District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz and District 5 Commissioner Levie Maddox of corruption, and the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) of using a forensic audit to “target individuals for race and politics”.
Henderson’s remarks come during Tuesday's public meeting, days after the BOC voted to send a forensic audit report to law enforcement. Henderson was the lone vote against that action. The contents of the report were discussed in a closed-door executive session and have not been released to the public.
However, following Thursday’s executive session, Henderson said, “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.”
Those were the only public comments on the matter, until Tuesday when Henderson referred to land acquisitions in his district and check approvals for the Nelson Heights Community Center, in which he sits on the board of directors.
“I think it’s a witch hunt and somebody wants to spend a whole lot of money,” Henderson said before reading his statement.
“I believe the county wasted $250,000 on the audit to target individuals for race and politics,” he said.
He added that the audit did not go far enough, and should look into corruption he said was taking place. He read from a letter he said he sent to Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown.
“I have information there is corruption taking place on the landfill transaction, decision to shut down the convenience centers, Maddox Hauling getting paid for emptying the dumpsters at the convenience centers without a bidded [sic]contract, LB Recycling picking up scrap metal at the landfill and convenience centers without paying the county what LB is supposed to pay under its contract that expired 2 years ago, and commissioners shulz [sic]deal with a Atlanta developer to buy her oaks golf course and turn it into a subdivision only if commissioner shulz [sic] can get crowell road widened to four lanes and whether she and loyd kerr are secretly planning to use the 2017 SPLOST transportation money to make crowell road four lanes,” Henderson’s letter read.
Schulz said that road projects the county is working on now were determined by a comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) created before she took office in 2009.
“The widening of Crowell Road and the widening of Brown Bridge Road were listed on that CTP before I got here,” Schulz said. “I’m just following on that”
Schulz also refuted the claim that she had a deal ready for a neighborhood at the Oaks Course.
“I don’t have a sale pending,” she said.
Maddox said he did not have a comment on the matter Tuesday evening.
Henderson sent his letter to Brown asking that the sheriff’s office investigate the above-stated matters and that the District 4 Commissioner “will be glad to give you the information and witnesses.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Brown had not seen the letter, and said he would determine a course of action after he had a chance to.