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 Tax commisioners office
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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2010 :  7:14:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just how do you run an office, handling thousands of dollars with only 1 signatory on checks. How does someone write checks to themselves every 2 weeks and nobody catch on. How do you get by for 17 years and then wait 2/3 more years before anything is done about it.

My question is, was the commissioner whistling "Rocky Top"( with apologies to Honeybee) or singing "Bringing in the Sheves' while this was going on.

If all is true as was published in the NGN, then this is an embarrassment to the good people of Union. I note the guilty parties name was omitted? Normally the name is splashed on the front page.

All I can say, it is apalling!!!!

Shucks

meg

United States
969 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2010 :  08:45:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit meg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't think she was taking money for 17 years, only the last year. I don't think there has ever been any discrepancy in the audits in previous years. Audits are usually done annually, and I'm sure she knew when they are done, so she knew when to start to get in a full year of writing checks to herself before the next audit.

As far as having only one signature on the checks, I guess that's just the way it's always been done here and there has never been a problem until now. Now that the problem has come up the policy has changed. I guess people here just go by the policy of 'if it's not broke, don't fix it.'

It is really a sad situation when people who know right from wrong choose to do something so wrong.Go to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4157 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2010 :  11:42:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It is no secret who was fired/allowed to resign for this. The buzz has been all over town about the scandal and the North GA News all but identified her by listing her as "deputy tax commissioner and accountant". It is strange that they did not name her though. Being there were only three others in the office besides JW Payne, it's not hard to see who the missing person is. Actually, that "deputy tax commissioner" title was a bit of a surprise. I didn't know our county had one.

What is interesting is how it was handled once it was discovered. She repaid the money back ($65,000 is lot of money to get together in only a few days) and lost her job. In Banks County, only 60 miles southeast from here, a deputy tax commissioner was arrested and charged with 7 counts of computer fraud and 1 count of Violation of Oath of Public Office for adjusting the ad valorem taxes for seven vehicles of friends. How much money do you think that added up to? I can't believe it was anything close to $65,000. But they took the violations seriously and especially the violation of public trust that results from these types of events. The Banks county sheriff and the GBI were both involved in that case.

Georgia law provides that any public officer who willfully and intentionally violates the terms of his/her oath as prescribed by law shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

This is no minor matter that happened here. And the way it was handled sends an unsubtle message from the Union County Government that they will take care of any "personnel problems" themselves. It suddenly lends a lot more credence to their oft-ignored critics that cover-ups and hidden dealings are going on, being quietly handled behind the scenes. I don't really cotton to those whispers. But even the appearance of impropriety is just as bad, and we're suddenly in that territory now.

I believe it is largely a result of having the same person as tax commissioner in office for more than 40 years. Longevity breeds complacency. And complacency is what led to the lack of financial oversight that allowed the thefts (each check to herself is a separate theft) to occur.

Info about Banks County crime: http://www.georgia.gov/00/press/detail/0,2668,67862954_67866877_156922172,00.html

Shadow
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meg

United States
969 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2010 :  09:12:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit meg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I had heard that she will be prosecuted for taking the money. I don't think anyone should be able to get by with a crime like that and not have to pay more than just losing their job. What she did was a crime and she should be prosecuted the same as any other thief. If you let people get by with stuff like that then it will happen more and more.

I suppose if you have an employee who has been honest and faithful (as far as you know) for 16 years you do get complacent and trust them to keep being honest and faithful.

Edited by - meg on 09/24/2010 09:53:24 AMGo to Top of Page

William R. Jenkins

USA
3545 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2010 :  7:15:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit William R. Jenkins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
On my visits to the tax office,I must have known the accused. J.W.Payne (or is it now JW Pain)was one of the very first persons I met ,after comming here in '96.I zeroed in of this chap because first, he asked me to vote for him(I wasn't even qualified)maybe JW knew that.What I noticed about him was his ring around the collar.I knew right off that no person could accumulate such a ring under normal circumstamces.ON closer observation I spied hair color ozzing down his neck and he seemed to have the grecian formular for mustasche entering his mouth ,on both sides.Don't get me wrong ,I like JW,I just think he should have hung up his retirement sign a few elections back. Maybe the reason he wanted one more term in office was directly related to the cost of maintaining his personal appearance.As fer the local theft of the coins,I have my sense of satire running through my brain(you know that thing above the shoulders,located in the skull)It seems as if this was not used by an employeed of JW'S tax operations,on the other side of the coin maybe it was was.Most everyone everywhere would be facing a few years behind the confines of the graybar hotel.A deal went down that granted a temporary repreive of jail time for the immediate or possible for ever.This whole event motivatas me to write a book or at least a documentary about the justice systens in a small town in the holy land belt buckle of the south.Maybe Meg, Shadow, and Shucks can assist me with the title.I have considered the following.How to steal and survive,crime pays in you are a christian.Theft in the holy land of North Georgia,Land of hypocrits and theives.Stealing from the right places can be easy.Crime in a small town.Teachings of a preacher's daughter,HOW TO SPREAD THE WEALTH OF OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY,USING A PERSONAL AGENDA and many more.Let's hear it for the honest.WRJ

William R.JenkinsGo to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4157 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2010 :  10:20:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here's another somewhat similar kind of case in Bartow county where a chorus teacher stole $11,000 in fundraiser money from the chorus fundraisers over a three year period. He's being charged with 11 counts of felony theft by conversion.

In a similar case of felony theft by conversion, a lawyer advised that the person being charged "is eligible for a penalty of no less than one year and no more than ten years as to each count of theft over $500. There's no way to predict exactly what sentence he would get if he lost at trial or if he plead guilty. However, if he has no criminal record, it is likely that he would get some sort of suspended sentence in lieu of jail time, with a condition that he repay restitution to the company he is accused of stealing from. If he has a prior criminal record, it is likely that the judge will give him at least some of the jail time he is looking at."

The disparity between the two examples provided and what happened in our Tax Commissioner's office is huge, especially when considering the amount stolen. If such things can be resolved in back room deals, then I'm willing to entertain any number of possibilities are possible in this office and perhaps in other county offices.

That's not taking political advantage as hinted at in North Georgia News article. It's instead a complete loss of trust in the people filling at least one government office of our county. Not just because the crime occurred, but because of the "let's not make waves, we'll handle it ourselves" manner in which it has been handled.

News article referenced: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25144415/detail.html

ShadowGo to Top of Page

shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2010 :  4:13:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't the current District Attorney running for the Georgia Court of Appeals? Why doesn't he do his job? Is this what we can expect if he get's elected? Not my vote!!!!

Maybe, the State of Georgia should step in to this situation.

ShucksGo to Top of Page

William R. Jenkins

USA
3545 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2010 :  5:16:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit William R. Jenkins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Shucks,this situation at the tax office is just one of many reasons that the time has already passed when more than one commissioner is needed in this county.As I wrote on another topic,a cover-up nearly had to exist.It seems as if the local yokels aren't doing anything to bring this offence to a conclusion and tomorrow I will notify the gov.and others of this disgusting situation.The commissioner,sheriff,and tax employees ,including ,just one more time JW should be questioned under oath.those conspiring to prevent justice should be dealt with in accordance with the law.If it was good enough for Tricky Dick,so should it be for all others.WRJ

William R.JenkinsGo to Top of Page

fawn

USA
2223 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2010 :  2:10:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit fawn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I didn't see any update to this story in the paper this week. I'd like to know the name of the employee. Some of you know already because you've been here "forever", but some of us newer residents have no clue. Mr. Payne should not be running his office so casually. Fine that he's "fixed" it so it won't happen again; however, if the office was run with appropriate operating procedures, it wouldn't have happened at all.

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William R. Jenkins

USA
3545 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2010 :  2:43:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit William R. Jenkins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Fawn,You must have noticed that there were no letters to the editor.There were a few viewpoins written by Cooper.I am not anti-Paris,but I believe he has complete control of what cooper buts in the fish wrapper.Paris must know all about the events.He and all the other incompetents want the situation to fade away.Paris and blacky Payne don't want to be reminded of this when it comes time to vote.This is obstruction of justice committed by all that are involved,including the thief.WRJ

William R.JenkinsGo to Top of Page

fawn

USA
2223 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2010 :  6:24:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit fawn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:

I didn't see any update to this story in the paper this week. I'd like to know the name of the employee. Some of you know already because you've been here "forever", but some of us newer residents have no clue. Mr. Payne should not be running his office so casually. Fine that he's "fixed" it so it won't happen again; however, if the office was run with appropriate operating procedures, it wouldn't have happened at all.



Well I went to that stupid topix forum today and at least found out the name of the fired employee. (Yikes! Felt like I needed to wash my hands and the computer screen after reading some of that slop.)

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Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  1:17:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shadow, I am sort of surprised that you are surprised.

I would have been surprised by this sort of thing when I first moved here, but not anymore. The ties between people are just so strong and entrenched that the wrong people often get hired over more qualified applicants and strict justice is downplayed.

I have been enlightened about things that happen behind the scenes here that I would never post about in a million years. My eyes have been opened. The good ole boy (and girl) system IS thriving here; often to the detriment of local taxpayers' interests.

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mountainguy

USA
2247 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  5:03:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit mountainguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here's a thought, refuse to pay your taxes until the guilty parties are brought to justice. I'd be willing to bet this is not a solitary incident.

Odds are, nothing will be done. I mean, the govt. announced they couldn't account for 2.3 trillion and no one batted an eye.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of people. They are the only sure reliance of the preservation of our freedom."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Edited by - mountainguy on 10/05/2010 5:11:33 PMGo to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4157 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2010 :  8:53:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Here's a thought, refuse to pay your taxes until the guilty parties are brought to justice. I'd be willing to bet this is not a solitary incident.

That is not a solution. Two wrongs do not make a right. A better alternative is to make sure the people willing to cover up or diminish the crime are turned out of office and unable to do so again.

Has anyone pointedly asked why no charges were brought against someone who violated the public trust so egregiously? Can anyone believe that it is two weeks' editions since the news came out and still no letters to the editor showing any discontent with the tax commissioner office's decision to not prosecute? Are the voters that accepting? Or is the NGN refusing to publish them?

WF, my surprise was at the title. I didn't know we had a Deputy Tax Commissioner for Union County. I don't remember the title being identified on the county website and am curious if it involved an oath of office also.

ShadowGo to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4157 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2010 :  9:14:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Related information - here's a tax collector in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania that was caught and charged with embezzling $19,445 from the borough and $20,102 from the school district, or very nearly $40,000 all together.

Out on $100,000 bail, he now faces two felony counts of theft, a felony count of receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of misapplication of entrusted property, which carry a combined maximum of 23 years in prison upon conviction

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-10-05/news/mc-pen-argyl-tax-collector-accused-of20101005_1_tax-collector-district-and-borough-officials-property-and-misapplication
http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/slate-belt/index.ssf/2010/10/former_pen_argyl_tax_collector.html

ShadowGo to Top of Page

Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2010 :  02:52:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

Can anyone believe that it is two weeks' editions since the news came out and still no letters to the editor showing any discontent with the tax commissioner office's decision to not prosecute?

Are the voters that accepting? Or is the NGN refusing to publish them?


Don't you know the citizens of Blairsville are happy that their tax money could be so useful to one person? I bet the NGN hasn't received a single letter about it.

What about the District Attorney. Couldn't he make the decision to prosecute?

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