Auditor probing RRDA set to ask for more money
August 03, 2013 10:42 PM | 1394 views | 1 1 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Joshua Sharpe

jsharpe@cherokeetribune.com

CANTON — Three and a half months after county commissioners voted to more than triple the price cap on a forensic audit being conducted into the county’s failed partnership with Ball Ground Recycling, the firm performing the audit is set to ask for even more money.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will consider a change to the contract for the audit during its meeting Tuesday night, and County Manager Jerry Cooper said Friday that because of the extent of the “investigative work” being performed by the audit firm, additional funding will be required to wrap it up.

The county hopes to have an estimate of how much additional funding will be needed next week, Cooper said.

Originally, the price on the audit being performed by Newnan-based firm McClendon and Associates was $75,000, but in April the Board of Commissioners voted to raise the potential final price to $269,000. Another $25,000 to $50,000 was also tacked on for legal counsel for McClendon and Associates.

The audit was recommended by a May 2012 grand jury to investigate the Cherokee Resource Recovery Development Authority’s deal with Jimmy Bobo to relocate his recycling business to its final location on Highway 5 near Ball Ground. The RRDA was formed in 2006 to guarantee debt on $18 million in bonds for the move, but since Bobo filed for bankruptcy last year, Cherokee County has been left to pay $100,000 in monthly payments on the property.

McClendon and Associates was one of two firms recommended by the district attorney’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and one of four recommended by a grand jury.

Once the audit is complete, the board has agreed to have the results given to District Attorney Shannon Wallace instead of the Board of Commissioners.

Also during the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night, the board will:

• Consider approving an annual contract with the Department of Human Services for funding in the amount of $159,104, which supports the Cherokee Area Transportation System;

• Consider approving a resolution to change the tax collection commission rate charged to the school district to 2.3 percent beginning on Sept. 1, instead of Oct. 1 as previously approved; and

• Consider approving a request to submit a list of 16 roads totaling 25.74 miles to the Georgia Department of Transportation to receive $1,592,611 in funding from the

2014 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program.

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Grand Juror #24
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August 13, 2013
The reference un this article to the original amount of the audit is somewhat misleading. The figure of $75,000 was an arbitrary cap posed by the Board of Commisioners and was not, as Mr. Sharpe seems to insinuate, an original fee estimate from the forensic audit firm. In its publicly-available final presentments, the September 2012 grand jury recommended removing the proposed $75,000 cap to ensure a complete and thorough forensic audit.
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