CHECKS for $841,632.14 to Union County Commissioner

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Mary Lee

Dahlonega, GA

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#21
Nov 25, 2010
 
due drop wrote:
Fooled me! I would have bet he would have used his question and answers to tell why those checks were written to him. Maybe old Boyd advised him to keep his mouth shut,
That would be asking the impossible . Petitt is not that stupid .
Safety Sam

Dahlonega, GA

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#22
Nov 25, 2010
 

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See the last-week released 2009 Union County audit. The auditors had been warning the county for five years about the risk of misappropriation of county money, especially at the tax office, due to placing to much power in one persons hands, such as only one signature required to write checks.(pg. 57-58).

http://www.audits.ga.gov/rsaAudits/searchRepo...

**you have to select year 2009, then search for 'union'.

You won't find the highest county officials pay either, interesting. Looks like that would be a main item.

Since: Nov 10

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#23
Nov 26, 2010
 

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We are idiots for allowing one man to have this much power! How in the world is it possible for the lone commissioner of a rural mountain county to spend almost a million dollars in travel expenses in ten months? My husband questioned our tax bill and Larmar told him, "if we didn't like it we could move...but one way or the other, someone would pay"!
Surely he doesn't talk to everyone in this manner. You can rest assured that we will never vote for him again! Does anyone know what his salary is? And how much of this $850,000.00 did he unjustly pocket? Indeed, there are alot of unanswered questions.
Reb

Dawsonville, GA

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#24
Nov 26, 2010
 

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Nothing will be done without help from outside the county. We will have to have either news people or outside law enforcement if you are to clean up this dirty mess. All the talk on topix means nothing without reaching out for help. If enough people contact the news media are the governors office something might be done. I would call the governors office prior to Deal taking office as he seems to be well equipped for backroom dealings.
Floridian

Orlando, FL

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#25
Nov 26, 2010
 

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Check the credit card records. Government officials can hid a lot of expenditures that way.
Maybe

Hilton Head Island, SC

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#26
Nov 26, 2010
 

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due drop wrote:
Fooled me! I would have bet he would have used his question and answers to tell why those checks were written to him. Maybe old Boyd advised him to keep his mouth shut,
Maybe the paper came out too soon for him to get the answers together. Maybe he's hoping that the expenditure revelations won't take legs and he won't have to answer. Maybe his answers will be in next week's paper after he's had more time for his lawyer9s) to review his answers.
Robert

Dahlonega, GA

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#27
Nov 26, 2010
 

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One thing for certain is Lamar Paris will hide what he can hide that is inappropiate .
ACOG

Dawsonville, GA

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#28
Nov 28, 2010
 

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Robert wrote:
One thing for certain is Lamar Paris will hide what he can hide that is inappropiate .
I'm sure he has a darn good reason for the ACOG to wait 14days for all their request. It takes 14 days just to look at the Minutes Book of County Meetings!!! I Wonder Why???

THe ACOG hopes and prays that this will Wake up Union County and get them to realize what is really going on behind closed doors. Go in and try to get some of this information maybe they will slip up and give you something they didn't give us and we can put it all together. We sure have nothing to hide, we are not digging into the taxpayers pocket books. We are trying to help everyone in this county. We asked a State Representative to help us when we started this over 2 years ago. His answer: "This County has been run like this for over 75 years, back off".

Time for change: God knows there are a lot of good people in Union County and he will help us take OUR COUNTY back. Remember what Lamar did about the Alcohol vote: "The voters have decided and that is the way it should be. The issue is over and Union County will remain dry." July 19, 2006

We will pray and ask everyone to pray with us to free Union County of the corruption.
Safety Sam

Dahlonega, GA

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#29
Nov 28, 2010
 

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In July 2010, when two Los Angeles Times reporters, Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, were investigating possible malfeasance in the neighboring city of Maywood, it was revealed that Bell city officials were receiving unusually large salaries, perhaps the highest in the nation. The salaries came into the public eye after a Los Angeles Times investigation, based on California Public Records Act requests, showed the city payroll was swollen with six- to seven-figure salaries. The city manager Robert Rizzo received $787,637 a year (almost double the salary of the President of the United States). Including benefits, he received $1.5 million in the last year. Rizzo's assistant Angela Spaccia, was earning $376,288 a year, more than the top administrator for Los Angeles County. The police chief, Randy Adams, was paid $457,000, 33% more the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. All three resigned following news reports and public outcry. All but one of the members of the city council were receiving $100,000 for their part-time work, salaries which were authorized by a special election, giving the city Charter status. Council members in cities similar to Bell in size make an average of $4,800 a year, prosecutors have noted.

On September 15, 2010, the California Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against eight former and current employees, requesting the return of what the suit calls "excessive salaries" as well a reduction in pension benefits accrued as a result of those higher salaries. Allegations about problems in the 2009 election also have been examined by the FBI and California Secretary of State office. The city's high property taxes are also being investigated. On September 21, 2010, former city manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia and council members George Mirabal, Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bello were arrested and charged with misappropriation of public funds. The mayor and council members retain their posts pending conviction or recall.

The revelations about the salary amounts paid to city officials in Bell have to led media inquires into salaries paid in other cities. After a review, the L.A. Times found frequent failures in audits of public agencies in other municipalities in California.
Safety Sam

Dahlonega, GA

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#30
Nov 28, 2010
 

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That was in a city with a population of 36,600; not much bigger than Union County.

It's what can happen when the residents don't keep an eye on their government.

Since: Aug 10

Jefferson, GA

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#31
Nov 28, 2010
 
ACOG wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sure he has a darn good reason for the ACOG to wait 14days for all their request. It takes 14 days just to look at the Minutes Book of County Meetings!!! I Wonder Why???
THe ACOG hopes and prays that this will Wake up Union County and get them to realize what is really going on behind closed doors. Go in and try to get some of this information maybe they will slip up and give you something they didn't give us and we can put it all together. We sure have nothing to hide, we are not digging into the taxpayers pocket books. We are trying to help everyone in this county. We asked a State Representative to help us when we started this over 2 years ago. His answer: "This County has been run like this for over 75 years, back off".
Time for change: God knows there are a lot of good people in Union County and he will help us take OUR COUNTY back. Remember what Lamar did about the Alcohol vote: "The voters have decided and that is the way it should be. The issue is over and Union County will remain dry." July 19, 2006
We will pray and ask everyone to pray with us to free Union County of the corruption.
Why bring God into your petty political vendetta?
Makes me sick when people try to use God to further their agenda.
Probably disgusts Him, too.
ACOG

Dawsonville, GA

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#32
Nov 28, 2010
 

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Safety Sam wrote:
That was in a city with a population of 36,600; not much bigger than Union County.
It's what can happen when the residents don't keep an eye on their government.
The ACOG to Safety Sam We sure love your post. Keep up the good work.
Betty

Dahlonega, GA

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#33
Nov 29, 2010
 

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Truthis Blairsville wrote:
<quoted text>Why bring God into your petty political vendetta?
Makes me sick when people try to use God to further their agenda.
Probably disgusts Him, too.
I would think Satan and his followers get nerverous when anyone start uncovering what is clearly wrong . Probably get sick too .
ACOG

Dawsonville, GA

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#34
Nov 29, 2010
 
Truthis Blairsville wrote:
<quoted text>Why bring God into your petty political vendetta?
Makes me sick when people try to use God to further their agenda.
Probably disgusts Him, too.
Because we know that with out God we are nothing. With God all things are possible. If you will read your bible it tells of all the wonderful things he has done and what he continues to do everyday. He lives in our heart, he is our loving Savior. One Great story in the bible that comes to mind is about David and Goliaths? What a Wonderful story.
Betty

Dahlonega, GA

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#35
Nov 29, 2010
 
Safety Sam ; Thank you and thank God for people like you . It is people like you that make this country great . This county is no different than Bell Calf.
pondering

Dawsonville, GA

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#36
Nov 29, 2010
 
Robert wrote:
One thing for certain is Lamar Paris will hide what he can hide that is inappropiate .
I've not heard of any yearly, public county meetings where a discussion took place about what county vehicles are to be exempted from having the county logo on them. That's a state law.
Ralph

Dahlonega, GA

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#37
Nov 29, 2010
 

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Hear yea , hear yea , Liemore shall follow no law except Lamar Law . The King Paris has spoken .
BooDerek

United States

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#38
Nov 29, 2010
 
Safety Sam wrote:
That was in a city with a population of 36,600; not much bigger than Union County.
It's what can happen when the residents don't keep an eye on their government.
Yeap, and these "officials" made off with some big time money so they thought and now they are all going to jail!! Bust all of them and bust them good!!
Safety Sam

Dahlonega, GA

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#39
Nov 29, 2010
 
WSB-TV, May 7, 2009
TOWNS COUNTY, Ga.-- Citizens of a small north Georgia community are learning that hundreds of thousands of their tax dollars were spent without legal authorization.
In a Whistleblower 2 investigation, Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Richard Belcher discovered that the money went to three local officials – two of whom said they saw nothing wrong with it. The third person is in prison, and the man who approved the payments is dead.
Belcher said the payments, referred to as local supplements, are often paid to sheriffs and court clerks, for example, whose minimum salaries are set by the state – then supplemented by local counties. If a county wants to pay extra, it has to receive legal approval to do so.
Becky Landress, editor of the local newspaper, Towns Sentinel, said she was baffled.
“I didn't even know, honestly, what a supplement was,” said Landress.
Former Towns County Commissioner Truman Barrett said he was aware of supplements, but didn’t know any were being paid out.
“I was surprised … obviously because … there was no record,” Barrett said.
Current County Commissioner Bill Kendell didn't want to talk to Channel 2 Action News about his decision to quit issuing payments. Landress said getting any information was hard.
“It was over, done with and he had fixed it. That was his way of thinking,” said Landress.
But what had happened in Towns County, near the North Carolina state line, was so rare, that the county attorney said he couldn’t find another such incident anywhere in Georgia.
For a county with a lot of poor people, the estimated $20,000 extra annual payouts for three county officials, was a lot of money. To put it in perspective, some families of 4 or five live off just that supplement amount.
“If you take 20 years, at which it appears to have been in existence with the four people involved, that would add up to a $1.6 million,” said Barrett.
The payments went to long-time sheriff Rudy Eller, who is now in prison for a case unrelated to the supplements, to long time court clerk Cecil Dye.
“You see anything wrong with what happened, asked Belcher.”“No, it was perfectly legal, according to the law. But then a new commissioner came in and took a look at it and said, I'm not doing this. Well, that's his prerogative,” said Dye.
Long time probate judge Wayne Garrett, who lost his reelection bid last year, also received payments.
“Did he do it legally?" asked Belcher.
“I guess. He was the commissioner,” said Garrett.
The current commissioner doesn't think he did it legally, asked Belcher.“Well, now that's between them. He's dead,” said Garrett.
And therein lies the mystery. The old commissioner, Jack Dayton, died in 2005 after 17 years in office.
While he ran Towns County, there was no public announcement of any pay supplements.
Safety Sam

Dahlonega, GA

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#40
Nov 29, 2010
 
There's not a word in the official minutes at the court house in Hiawassee. Not a problem, said the clerk.
“He can adjust the pay from time to time,” said Dye.
“But you can't explain why there's no reference to it in the minutes,” asked Belcher.“I wouldn't have any idea about that,” said Dye.
But there's no evidence that commissioner Dayton did what makes it legal, the part where someone reads the proposal in public -- twice -- before spending the taxpayers' money of Towns or any other county.
“If it's not written down in the minutes, it doesn't legally exist?” asked Belcher.“Well, that's the way I would interpret it,” said Barrett.
Landress said people ask her how long it went on.
“And I feel like my hands are tied there on answering that for them because I have no way of knowing how long these were paid. I just don't,” said Landress.
Barrett calls it politics.
“It doesn't stop just with Chicago or Washington. It comes all the way down to places like Towns County,” said Barrett.
When commissioner Kendell first discovered the payments in 2007, he tried to stop them right away. But the probate judge argued that he had what amounted to a contract for that money until the end of his term, so the unauthorized payments continued for another 24 months.
Commissioner Kendell finally stopped the payments in January.

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