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July 24, 2014
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Posted: Monday, May 12th 2014 at 3:30pm

Barrow Commissioners to discuss investigating Tax Commissioner's Office

By Marc Eggers Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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WINDER – The Barrow County Board of Commissioners have included on their published agenda for Tuesday evening’s voting session, under the heading of New Business, the authorizing of the County Manager, Randall Dowling, “to submit a written request to Sheriff Jud Smith seeking an investigation into the allegations/operations of the Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Melinda Williams is the elected Tax Commissioner of Barrow County.

Below is the letter under consideration by the Board of Commissioners to be sent by the County Manager to the Sheriff. This letter is included with the meeting agenda:


RE: Barrow County Tax Commissioner

Dear Sheriff Smith:

As you may know, recent issues have been raised about the appropriateness of the operation of the Barrow County Tax Commissioner’s Office. Specifically, it has been brought to my attention that a verbal contract with a service provider has been in effect for years that may result in a financial benefit to the Tax Commissioner’s husband and that the Tax Commissioner may have provided a private office for her husband within the County offices. Because the Tax Commissioner is an independent, elected official of Barrow County, the County does not have general oversight or authority over the Tax Commissioner. Accordingly, the County has not conducted an investigation or otherwise taken any action to date with respect to these allegations.

In an effort to be responsive to mounting questions and concerns being raised by County taxpayers, and at the direction of the Board of Commissioners, I respectfully request that the Sheriff’s Office conduct an investigation into the allegations and/or the general operations of the Tax Commissioner’s Office as you see fir in your wisdom and discretion. While we understand that this might be more properly referred to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for review given that it involves an elected official, I wanted to refer to your discretion for any such referral outside of the County.

Please understand that I do not take any position with respect to whether the allegations are true, and most certainly, do not take a position as to whether any of the allegations, if true, rise to the level of a violation of criminal law. It is only in an abundance of caution and out of a desire to be a responsible steward of the taxpayer’s money, that I make this request for your assistance and review. I will ensure that you have the full cooperation of the County, its staff, and its auditors with respect to any investigative efforts.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


***End of letter under consideration.***


The Commissioners meet Tuesday evening at 7PM, on the second floor of the old courthouse at the intersection of North Broad and West Athens Street.

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