The Columbia County Board of Elections has set qualifying dates for candidates seeking to fill posts vacated by Kay and Charles Allen.
Kay Allen resigned as the county’s tax commissioner in March, after months of controversy over fees she was paid by the cities of Grovetown and Harlem for collecting municipal property taxes. The fees brought scrutiny from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI and protests from the county commission, which contended the more than $160,000 she had collected since 2009 violated state law.
In the settlement agreement approved by commissioners March 4, Allen agreed to return half the money to the county, a total of $80,650, and submit her resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal. Her husband, District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen, also resigned as part of the agreement.
The Board of Elections voted this week to set the qualifying period to fill the offices for 9 a.m. June 23 through noon, June 25. The qualifying fee for tax commissioner will be $2,173, and the fee for the commission seat will be $195.
Qualifying will be conducted by the Board of Elections Office, which is located at 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E, Evans. The special election to fill both offices will coincide with the Nov. 4 general election, election officials said.
Since her resignation, Kay Allen’s duties have been taken on by Deputy Tax Commissioner Steve Adams. The District 3 seat will remain empty until after the special election, officials said.
Former school board trustee, Wayne Bridges, and Allen’s former deputy, Dwight Johnson have announced their intentions to run for the tax commissioner’s post.
At least two candidates also are expected to qualify for the District 3 commission seat. Brett McGuire, a retired plant manager, and Mack Taylor, a former assistant district attorney, who now has his own practice, have filed declarations with the Board of Elections office.