Government

More News | | | Editor

Columbia County Commission to ask for governor's intervention in Kay Allen controversy

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 7:02 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 9:36 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Columbia County commissioners intend to seek intervention from Gov. Nathan Deal to resolve the ongoing situation with Tax Commissioner Kay Allen.

Back | Next
Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen has missed work most of the week, making only a brief appearance Wednesday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen has missed work most of the week, making only a brief appearance Wednesday.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said officials have drafted a letter notifying the governor of “alleged misconduct” on the part of Allen, involving additional compensation she collected for decades from Harlem and Grovetown without the commission’s knowledge or consent.

Cross said the letter will be discussed and voted on at a special called commission meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at the Evans Government Complex.

“We will go into executive session and discuss it, and then we will come out to discuss it and vote on it,” Cross said.

Should commissioners approve the letter, the governor has 10 days to decide on a course of action, which could include removing Allen from office, Cross said. He could also choose to not act and let the criminal investigation run its course, he said.

Allen’s agreements with the two cities have been the subject of a joint investigation of the FBI and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for more than two months. Some of the payments appear to violate a state law that took effect in 2007. The law stipulates that agreements to collect city taxes in counties with more than 50,000 parcels have to be made by the county governing authority, not the tax commissioner.

Columbia County crossed the 50,000 threshold in 2009. Since that time, Allen has collected more than $160,000 in additional compensation from Harlem and Grovetown – 2 percent of each city’s property taxes.

Sheriff’s investigators turned over their files to Augusta District Attorney Ashley Wright’s office on Friday, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

“After a complete and thorough investigation into allegations against Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, we have delivered our files to the District Attorney’s Office,” Morris said.

Wright said it will take a while to review the sheriff’s files and she expects more investigative information to be coming her way from the FBI.

“This was a joint investigation, so I would expect that another file would be forthcoming,” she said.

Dwight Johnson, Allen’s former deputy tax commissioner who was fired in October, said he first met ith the FBI in August to report suspicious activity he had observed in the Tax Commissioner’s Office.

That activity included improper use of county vehicles and checks from Harlem and Grovetown in envelopes marked “confidential,” Johnson said.

“I did not know exactly what was going on,” said Johnson, who also reported what he knew to county officials in October, just before Allen fired him for alleged “misappropriation” of $55 cash from the Appling Tag office. Johnson said the firing was about personal conflicts and the fact he planned to run for tax commissioner in 2016.

Johnson said Allen told him he wasn’t trusted anymore and reduced his work responsibilities to the point where he had little to do.

Allen has said she was concerned about Johnson’s judgment after the $55 went missing in July. She said she had intended to discipline him before he suddenly went on 12 weeks of medical leave later that month.

Johnson said the stress from work resulted in health problems related to his heart, which is why he took the leave. When he returned from leave, Johnson said Allen refused to allow him to come back to the Tax Commissioner’s office in Evans. Instead she ordered him to report to Kroger and stay there for eight hours.

On Oct. 18, she came to his house with a sheriff’s deputy, demanding that he either resign or be fired.

“She is a bully,” Johnson said. “I was the type of employee that didn’t ask questions. That’s why I survived for 15 years.”

Calls to the Allen home and cell phone were not answered Friday, but rumors swirled that she was tendering her resignation. Those rumors were reported in some media outlets, but turned out to have no validity.

Augusta attorney and close friend of Allen, Jack Long said he had spoken to her and a resignation was not on the table.

“I can tell you that she is not even considering that,” he said.

The rumors of her departure were perhaps fed by Allen’s absence from her office all week.

The one exception was a brief appearance on Wednes­day when she came in to swear in a new deputy tax com­missioner. Steve Adams, who has held a position as an accountant in Allen’s office since 2001, was tapped for the position.

“When I got appointed, that was strictly out of the blue,” Adams said. “It was all news to me.”

Johnson said Adams was the person who first tipped him off to the suspicious payments from Harlem and Grovetown.

“That was about two years ago,” Johnson said.

Adams said he would not comment on the investigation. The former assistant controller and administrator at Medical College of Georgia said he intends to keep things running smoothly during this time of uncertainty.

“I just want to try to help them keep the work flowing as normal and continue to help the citizens of Columbia County,” he said.

Comments (43) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Stunned 2
3973
Points
Stunned 2 12/21/13 - 06:59 pm
1
2
IBeDogGone: Are you implying that wives might keep stashes of

money, or shopping habits & purchases, or maybe even debt information from their husbands? ...well, I'll never tell. LOL. ..some little 'white lies' are better off not addressed....Now, that's was just a general statement - but, getting back to this couple...I don't know if the little white lie excuse would fly before a jury of taxpayers.

JRC2024
8539
Points
JRC2024 12/21/13 - 07:45 pm
1
0
Riverman, leave Rick Allen

Riverman, leave Rick Allen out of your comments. He is not a party to the tax office, only a relative. I had a relative that went on a tangent and it used to really make me mad when someone would use my name along with his because I have an impeccable record of no trouble or arrests in 65 years. It is just not fair to bring in others.

Riverman1
82400
Points
Riverman1 12/21/13 - 07:51 pm
2
0
JRC, do you think Charles

JRC, do you think Charles Allen knew?

IBeDogGone
2982
Points
IBeDogGone 12/21/13 - 07:56 pm
2
0
Stunned

I do not know if he was privy or not. You know some couples do not share their finances with each other. If he was aware of her actions I feel he should also be removed from office. She pretended the money should be hers and he may not have know the laws reguarding taxes for other cities not county taxes.

Stunned 2
3973
Points
Stunned 2 12/21/13 - 08:03 pm
2
0
If these allegations warrent charges & a trial, It will be in

Federal Court. I know that they pull jurors from all over the U.S. Southern District of Georgia. I wonder if the defendant would ask for a change of venue. McIntire did for his second trial.

Lee Benedict
1572
Points
Lee Benedict 12/21/13 - 08:14 pm
4
0
Semper and Riverman,

from previous reports it appears as though Kay Allen allegedly used Columbia County resources for her personal side gig. Now, did she take money out of her pocket and buy supplies for the office? Don't know, but my guess would be that she did not.

As for whether or not Charles Allen knew, good one. I would like to think that he didn't, but, the misses wasn't bringing home an extra $100 here and there now and again. We're talking six figures over not so long a period of time. That said, if what was reported previously is true, that she went to great lengths to be shielded from others knowing about her contractual payment plan, then she may very well have deposited payments in to "secret accounts" and kept this from Charles, a sitting commissioner. If Charles noticed that his bank account(s) grew by $170,000ish, he may have asked some questions, especially come mid-April.

Again, I have no problem at all with Grovetown and Harlem telling Kay to go collect and 2% will be given to you as compensation versus us hiring people, buying supplies and equipment, matching their Social Security payments...BUT, BUT, when that 50,000 parcels thing took effect, all bets off, go through appropriate channels as prescribed by state law.

IMHO, the recall petition process needs to begin as she has clearly abused her office and employees and betrayed public trust. On top of that, who knows what the FBI will find...perhaps nothing.

To those who are bringing Rick Allen into the mix, based upon what has been made public thus far, he has/had nothing to do with her little arrangement. I intend to vote for Rick Allen unless and until it is demonstrated that he has engaged in illegal, unethical, immoral matters. For once, I like all declared candidates; Rick Allen and John Stone.

Lee Benedict
1572
Points
Lee Benedict 12/21/13 - 08:18 pm
3
0
And what about

Ron Cross and the County Administrator/Manager person guy? Ron Cross has his hand in everything and wants a piece of everything, and that being the case, it is difficult if not impossible to believe that he had no idea about any of this. In fact, many have stated that he has personally benefitted from TSPLOST payments. Monday at 9:00AM will be interesting to say the least.

Stunned 2
3973
Points
Stunned 2 12/21/13 - 08:35 pm
3
0
It would be hard to sit an impartial jury for a trial of a Tax

Commissioner that has been accused of theft. Every adult is affected by taxes - even the ones that don't pay tax bills and live off welfare, food stamps, attended public schools, 'free' money for college, etc. They could perceive her as robbing them of their 'benefits'.
P.S. I think the conversation on this site today has been favorable for her brother-in-law. It has probable actually helped him politically.

JRC2024
8539
Points
JRC2024 12/21/13 - 10:20 pm
2
0
River, I do not know if

River, I do not know if Charles knew but it would be almost impossible come tax time unless all the checks came in the name of Columbia County ATTN: Kay Allen and someone at the bank cashed them. She would not get a 1099 for the income. I just think that bringing in his brothers name is wrong and not needed. It seems that all I read was that it was legal until 50000 tax parcles. After that it was not.

Riverman1
82400
Points
Riverman1 12/21/13 - 11:24 pm
3
0
Intent Was Clearly Present

Yeah, it became illegal about 5 years ago. That's a lot of money. As far as Ron Cross, what in the world makes you think he would know if the people in Harlem and Grovetown writing the checks didn't know Allen was personally getting the money? I'm still betting someone at the bank cashed those checks for her when they should have gone to the county. Whatever bank handled the hundreds of millions addressed to Kay Allen Tax Commissioner was not about to anger her.

As far as intent to break the law, it was clearly there, the way she used those special envelopes to be brought to her. It was a well thought out plan to hide the fact she was getting that money.

Riverman1
82400
Points
Riverman1 12/21/13 - 11:26 pm
2
0
Either Charles Allen Knew or He Didn't

Well, either Charles Allen knew about it as it went on their taxes or it didn't go on their taxes. Not good for him either way. Personally, I think it's a stretch to believe he didn't know. Actually, he's better off legally if he knew and they paid taxes on the money.

Riverman1
82400
Points
Riverman1 12/21/13 - 11:35 pm
2
0
Was Charles Allen ever

Was Charles Allen ever involved in a decision affecting Kay Allen and the Tax Office?

applingtaxpayer
29
Points
applingtaxpayer 12/22/13 - 08:25 am
2
0
Budget

Charles Allen had the ability to approve her budget, that's just unethical in itself.

D D DOG
97
Points
D D DOG 12/26/13 - 11:58 pm
0
0
Why hasn't this crook been
Unpublished

Why hasn't this crook been put on administrative leave pending the out come of this case. I can only imagine what has been hidden,shredded,etc. We have been waiting Approx. 5 months now and i've heard nothing but shoulda,woulda,coulda. Hard working people of C.C. bear in mind this woman has connections. You need to let your voice be heard. E-mail Govenor Deal and demand this crook be dealt with.My taxes increased approx. $30,000 in the last 2 years. How much went to the County??? Also remember her brother in law (Rick Allen) is running for Congress.Could just be more of the same. Vote all Allens out this coming election...PLEASE!!!
Also,,just ride by her mansion on Herford Farm Rd. that sits on approx nineteen acers of prime real estate and is valued at a little over $200,000. Sure wish my tax was figured this way. The time is now,,don't wait untill this crook gets a high dollar attorney and slips thru the crack...................

D D DOG
97
Points
D D DOG 12/27/13 - 12:22 am
0
0
Reply to TRUTHFINDER 12-21-13
Unpublished

Hello TF, If Johnson is as dirty as K.Allen then then let us know what it is. Go ahead,,I'm waiting.. Mr. Johnson is an honest,hard working young man that has helped thousands of taxpayers in the past 15 years. Why do you think the people of C.C are speaking out about this issue. I will also remind you,99% of people replying are pro Dwight Johnson. If you are really a Truthfinder, then be one. After all Johnson is the one that brought the TRUTH out. nuf said

D D DOG
97
Points
D D DOG 01/01/14 - 12:24 am
0
0
Think people, you've got
Unpublished

Think people, you've got K.Allen C.C. tax commissioner for 34 years I'm told,,then you got Charles Allen C.C. Commissioner(husband of K.A.) Then you got big business brother, Rick Allen,,all highly connected people to our Govenor,,Nathan Deal according to rumors. What kind of decision will Nathan Deal make concerning the theft of more than $160,000.00 by Kay Allen. Watch this one and let your voice be heard. I say Nathan Deal(Govenor) will do nothing to prosecute,remove, etc. Why was she not removed from office pending an investigation. I'll bet the schredders have been running non stop. Why has it taken months to investigate her when they have had the pruf of theft of money for months. Still want another Allen Family member in Congress. If so you may be part of the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs