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Morgan apologizes over Cook Road
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Board of Commissioner Chairwoman Kathy Morgan apologized Tuesday night for possibly not following county policy in wrongfully authorizing a repair project on Cook Road.

"Although I believed I was acting within the authority requested and received from the Board of Commissioners, my actions may be perceived as not following county policy to verify approval," Morgan said.

At a prior meeting, Commissioner Mort Ewing accused Morgan of breaking the board's ethics policy, its purchasing policy and state law when she spent unauthorized county funds on the repair of Cook Road.

Ewing said the board authorized Morgan to seek bids, but the authorization did not include permission to spend county funds. However, he said a check to Pittman Construction related to the repair work was made Aug. 8 and another on Aug. 19.

Board policy requires all county transportation projects more than $20,000 will be bid out. However, the county's check register shows it spent $198,771,21 on the project.

In her apology, Morgan recognized she should have received approval from the board.

"In hindsight, I should have placed this as an agenda item to receive approval," Morgan said. "I believe we prepared a quality road and the outcome would have been the same. I acknowledge now that I might have handled this better. I am sorry if I did not follow procedures properly or if my actions caused any concern. I am working with the public works director to establish standard operating procedures to prevent this from happening again."

Part of the problem arose when documentation was not processed appropriately, Morgan said.

"They assumed I initiated the documentation," Morgan said. "This did not occur. Work was authorized, performed and payment was made on my authorization. I did not follow up to verify the proper documentation was issued."