It seems the Board of Commissioners is breathing a sigh of relief with the grand jury’s finding that they could find no prosecutable “criminal” case. They may not bring criminal charges but it did bring to light some interesting things about county government.
One very telling item reported back in early 2014 was this grand jury statement published by various news outlets.
“In no way did we completely exonerate those involved in this situation,” wrote the grand jury members. “The Ball Ground Recycling situation involves matters of grave concern to the Citizens of Cherokee County with regards to their government, and we wish to dispel any talk to the otherwise.” Note the words “grave concern.” The auditor wrote, “The desire to expedite the bond issuance led to such momentum, in this particular case, that normal controls were absent, which may have resulted in money being paid in error.”
Obviously, there were no controls because one of the findings was the BoC purchased land from Bobo at a significantly higher cost than when Bobo originally purchased it. There is even more damning evidence in the forensic audit. Everyone should read it. The grand jury has also recommended that all county resources be dedicated to “aggressively seek a buyer” for the BGR facility.
It seems the BoC’s aggressive moves continue to get us into trouble as evidenced by the Cowart lawsuit against the county. Everyone should read the lawsuit too. This makes me wonder just what it takes to bring criminal charges against a government. If any private citizen did what our government officials did in this case they would be jailed, drug to court in chains and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Government officials cannot be above the law or the law is meaningless and we are no better than governments of Castro, Stalin, Mussolini, Tojo or Mao.
Who is to blame? In closing the grand jury encouraged all citizens be actively engaged in the actions of county government. What the grand jury is saying is citizens are to blame for allowing this to go on for far too long and it is we the citizens who must fix it.
We have much work to do.