Commissioners may search for forensic auditor
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@cherokeetribune.com
October 14, 2012 01:06 AM | 1464 views | 1 1 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting will consider approving a request for a proposal to begin the process of finding a forensic auditor.

On Oct. 2, commissioners voted 5-0 to advise County Manager Jerry Cooper to publicize the county’s request for a forensic auditor to investigate the controversial Ball Ground Recycling deal, including finding documents and information that the county says it has yet to obtain from company owner Jimmy Bobo.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Cherokee Hall in the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, following a 3 p.m. work session.

Commissioners at their last meeting said it was important to assure the public that they would not be heavily involved in the selection of the auditor, given the frustrations of some over the county’s issuance of $18.2 million in revenue bonds for the development of Ball Ground Recycling, which Bobo has failed to repay.

As part of its 13 recommendations to resolving the controversy, a grand jury recommended that the county seek to recover the $18.2 million by conducting a full and complete forensic audit, which the commission agreed to do.

Commissioner Harry Johnston, an accountant, estimated that hiring a first-rate auditor could cost the county upwards of $75,000 and $20,000 at the very least.

Officials are hoping that an independent auditor can find financial records and other documents related to Bobo’s business operations to help recoup the debt. About 10,000 documents have already been produced, according to County Attorney Angela Davis. Ball Ground Recycling is currently in the process of filing for bankruptcy.

A public hearing will alsotake place at 6 p.m. in Cherokee Hall so that members of the public may comment on the proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget set at $193 million, a 1.6 percent increase over the current fiscal year. Cherokee Chief Financial Officer Janelle Funk will give a presentation of the budget during the work session.

Other items on the agenda include:

* Considering acceptance of contribution from Northside Hospital in the amount of $75,000 for the purchase of cardiac monitors for Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services;

* Considering approval of a budget amendment for the county Fire Department to accept insurance monies in the amount of $2,476.92 for repairs due to a no-fault accident involving a fire truck;

* Considering final acceptance of all public rights-of-way, roadways and appurtenant drainage structures in Woodmont Subdivision Unit 12B;

* Considering a request from the state Department of Transportation to execute a quit-claim deed that adds portions of Hickory Road and Batesville Road back to county maintenance now that construction of the intersection improvement of SR 140 and Hickory Road/Batesville Road has been completed and accepted;

* Considering approval to set a public hearing for Nov. 20 to hear proposed changes to amend Chapter 10 of the Cherokee County Code of Ordinances related to the regulation of dangerous dogs and vicious dogs to conform to the changes in state law, effective July 1, 2012;

* Considering approval to surplus iPads from the county Solicitor’s Office;

* Considering approval to accept an amendment to the construction contract with Catamount for the Law Enforcement Training Center in the amount of $85,989;

* Considering approval to extend the 2011-2012 Professional Services Agreement between the county and Communit-Y Health Network for the continued provision of wellness services to employees for the remaining three months of 2012 and renewal of the program for 2013, as recommended by the Benefit Committee;

* Considering approval of a clinical contract agreement with Northside Hospital Inc. to allow the new paramedic class to perform skills required for graduation and licensure as a paramedic in Georgia;

* Considering approval to renew contract with DECA, AMR Business Products Inc. of Marietta to provide software support and maintenance for the 24-hour recording equipment in the 9-1-1 Center in the amount of $7,354;

* Considering approval to award a Professional Services Agreement to sole bidder, Georgia Fire and Rescue Supply, for firefighting helmets at an amount not to exceed $178.25 per helmet;

* Considering approval to surplus existing mobile home, garage and screened porch located at 2261 Sixes Road on parcel acquired (Babb Parcel) to expand parking and amenities for Blanket’s Creek Bike Trails;

* Considering approval of the Policies and Procedures Volunteer Handbook for Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency volunteers as approved by the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board in September; and

* Considering approval of Amendment One to the contract dated June 21, 2004 with Schindler Elevator Corporation for an additional 60 month term for a savings of $1,915.14 per quarter annualized at $7,660.56 after renegotiation by the county Sheriff’s Office. Three competitive quotes were received and Schindler provided the lowest monthly cost.
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Holy Moly
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October 14, 2012
THE ONLY FORENSIC AUDITOR WE NEED CAN BE PROVIDED AT NO COST TO CHEROKEE TAXPAYERS. WE SHOULD APPEAL DIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, INCLUDING THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FOR THEIR UN BIASED ASSISTANCE. THIS APPROACH WORKED IN JEFFERSON COUNTY ALABAMA (BIRMINGHAM) AND RESULTED IN 17 PRISON SENTENCES.

THIS IS NOT TO SAY ANYONE DID ANYTHING WRONG HERE, BUT IT WOULD AT LEAST CLEAR THE FOUL SMELLING ODOR THAT HAS PREVENTED CHEROKEE FROM MOVING FORWARD.
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