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Allen seeks deal as commission considers action

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 9:30 PM
Last updated Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 9:48 AM
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While Columbia County commissioners are preparing to meet about possible legal action against Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, her lawyers are still trying to cut a deal.

Columbia County tax chief Kay Allen  denies any wrongdoing.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Columbia County tax chief Kay Allen denies any wrongdoing.

Allen’s lead attorney, Douglas Chalmers Jr., has sent a letter to attorneys representing the Columbia County Board of Commissioners stating that his client is still prepared to “work with the county” to resolve the controversy over fees she
has collected from Harlem and Grove­town to compensate her for collecting city taxes.

Commissioners contend that the fees violate state law and that the contracts Al­len entered into with the cities were done without their knowledge or consent. The fees were the subject of a criminal investigation now in the hands of District Attorney Ashley Wright.

Allen has denied any wrongdoing and defends her right to collect payments for those services.

The state law governing these agreements between cities and tax collectors changed in 2007, stipulating that in counties with more than 50,000 parcels such agreements should be between the county and each city. Since Columbia County crossed the 50,000 threshold in 2009, Allen has collected more than $160,000 in such fees as personal compensation.

Chalmers points out that the law does not bar the tax commissioner from being paid for those services.

“Quite simply, when a tax commissioner performs ‘additional duties and responsibilities’ by collecting municipal taxes, he or she receives additional compensation,” according to the letter sent Thursday to Pat O’Connor of the Savannah firm Oliver, Maner & Gray, which has been hired by the county.

Chalmers reasons that it’s not a matter of whether Allen should have been paid, but how much. She is, however, prepared to return at least some of the money to the commission, according to the letter.

“Kay was prepared as necessary to cut a check to adjust her compensation retroactively to whatever level the County reasonably determined was appropriate,” Chalmers wrote.

He states in his letter that he “reached out” to the county Jan. 27 but has not heard back.

“It has now been more than 3½ weeks, and we still have not received a response from the County. We do not know the County’s position on the law, or even whether the County is willing to try to resolve these matters amicably,” he wrote.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross acknowledged that an offer had been made but said it was not acceptable to the commission.

“Basically she has offered to keep her job and pay back a minimal amount,” he said.

The commission announced Thursday that it would convene a special meeting today at 3 p.m. Cross said the purpose is to discuss and decide whether the county should take legal action against Allen, but he declined to elaborate.

Chalmers says in his letter that he is prepared to defend his client in a lawsuit, but hopes to avoid one.

“We respectfully suggest that it would be inappropriate, and a waste of taxpayer resources, for us to attempt to resolve these matters through litigation,” the letter said. “It would be a great disservice to the taxpayers of Co­lumbia County for the Coun­ty’s elected Com­missioners to refuse even to discuss this matter with us and then to simply move forward with a lawsuit.”

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D D DOG
97
Points
D D DOG 02/21/14 - 12:14 am
0
0

jUSTICE???

Unpublished

As many times as K.A. has been caught stealing and we are going to consider a deal to let her stay in office. I must say, I thought I had heard every lame riduculous excuse for this crooks antics,but I think this is the Mac Daddy.
Ron Cross, this is our time to fight. Do what the overwhelming majority of citzens want and prosecute this thief to the fullest extent. This crap has been going on for approx. 7 months now and is making all C.C. look totally stupid,specially our elected officials. Duh

Little Lamb
40104
Points
Little Lamb 02/21/14 - 12:41 am
10
0

Waste

When a potential defendant in a lawsuit says, “it would be a great disservice to the taxpayers . . . for the commissioners to refuse even to discuss this matter with us,” you know the defendant is grasping at her last straw.

dec0608
140
Points
dec0608 02/21/14 - 04:34 am
14
0

$456,000.00 !!!!! "Let's Make A Deal"

2009 - Audit
Kay Allen failed to remit $203,000.00

Oct. 2013 - A "Joint Investigation with the FBI"
$160,000.00 Kay Allen failed to remit to the Columbia County Commission.

Dec. 2013 - An audit was done by Serotta, Maddocks, Evans & Co. Which was ordered by the Columbia County Commission. The auditor's examined the books and accounts over an 18 month period to find that she failed to remit $93,000.00.

Two audit's and one investigation....$456,000.00

Yes she finally handed over a check for the $203,000.00 ONLY after she was threatened by Ron Cross that he would report this situation to the Governor. Now she is ready to make a DEAL???!!!!! She is ready to make a deal because she is facing possible jail time or being booted out of her seat. Remember what she said, "this is my money" $456,000.00 "this is my money"!!!

I can only imagine if they were to audit the last 15 years how much "this is my money" they would find.

Now with all that being said....what about her misconduct Ron Cross?? Are you and Gov. Deal just going to sweep that under the rug? She can't make a deal on that one and she sure can't deny that she ordered Dwight Johnson to walk in Kroger for 8 hrs at $37.00 an hour!!!

If Ron Cross and the rest of the commissioners decide to make a deal with Kay Allen, she will pick up where she left off with "this is my money" continue her misconduct and that will be a "slap in the face" to the people of Columbia County!!!

Riverman1
70395
Points
Riverman1 02/21/14 - 05:29 am
14
0

Cut A Deal With Cellmate

"The state law governing these agreements between cities and tax collectors changed in 2007, stipulating that in counties with more than 50,000 parcels such agreements should be between the county and each city. Since Columbia County crossed the 50,000 threshold in 2009, Allen has collected more than $160,000 in such fees as personal compensation."

There it is in plain English. It's breaking the law. She needs to cut a deal with her cellmate to see whether she gets the bottom bunk.

IBeDogGone
1763
Points
IBeDogGone 02/21/14 - 05:46 am
10
0

Time to do Something

This has lingered long enough it is time for Ashley Wright to S@@@ or get of the Pot. The deal that should be cut is one like the Laurie Wainwright got.

geecheeriverman
827
Points
geecheeriverman 02/21/14 - 06:18 am
9
0

C A U G H T !!

She has been caught redhanded, and now she wants to cut a deal. She would have kept this illegal activity up until she retired had she not been caught. Do not forget there is a lot at stake here for the politicians of State and local Government. Nathan Deal is running for Gov again. Ron Cross is running for County Chairman again. There are a lot of heavyweights that would like to see this just go away, however I do not think this will happen. If this is not followed through all the way, there will be a lot of political fallout all the way to the Capital Dome. Also do not forget the DA who is involved in this. She has been so-oo-oo quiet. Wonder why?

corgimom
19199
Points
corgimom 02/21/14 - 06:26 am
11
0

“Basically she has offered to

“Basically she has offered to keep her job and pay back a minimal amount,” he said.

Well, that's mighty generous of her, isn't it?

corgimom
19199
Points
corgimom 02/21/14 - 06:27 am
12
0

When an attorney wants to cut

When an attorney wants to cut a deal, their client is guilty.

iaaffg
932
Points
iaaffg 02/21/14 - 07:12 am
8
1

the game never changes

more pee on our legs, they are still calling it rain.

my.voice
4186
Points
my.voice 02/21/14 - 08:00 am
4
0

“It would be a great

“It would be a great disservice to the taxpayers of Co­lumbia County for the Coun­ty’s elected Com­missioners to refuse even to discuss this matter with us and then to simply move forward with a lawsuit.”

Takes one to know one.

CobaltGeorge
138587
Points
CobaltGeorge 02/21/14 - 08:28 am
6
1

The Bottom Line Is,

with all the actions and words being said and done by "ALL" involved, the end results is she is nothing but a lawbreaking, low down Criminal and if we still have a judicial system, she should be handled as such with all the sucking politics out the window..Period!

Stunned 2
2265
Points
Stunned 2 02/21/14 - 08:42 am
10
0

Shoplifters always say 'I'll pay for it', when caught

It's a common reaction from thieves. They want to pay for it this time - with no punishment or jail time. Then they are free to go back to shoplifting or embezzling, or whatever their crooked hearts desire. Does she think that the Taxpayers of Columbia County just don't mind that their hard earned money was taken? It's hard enough to pay the 'Tax-man', (or woman), but now we know that the funds were illegally taken and used by a self-serving tax official to satisfy her own arrogance and extravagant life-style.

Junket103
357
Points
Junket103 02/21/14 - 08:54 am
11
0

Here's the Deal

She needs to do the following:
1. Resign
2. Pay back ALL monies owed CC citizens, including interest
3. Apologize for her incompetence and or arrogance
4. Disappear from public life

Her continuing failure to do the right thing should result in the Republican leadership of Columbia County mounting an immediate recall of both Mr. And Mrs. Allen from their respective elective offices. The elected state leaders from this area should introduce legislation to disallow any tax commissioner from ever earning more than their official salary. If any fee is collected it should go to the general fund of the government that is providing the service, not the individual at the top. Then the state should enact term limits for all elected posts in the state. Many pols throughout the state get very arrogant in the assumption that they own the office as opposed to being servants of the people.

KSL
105558
Points
KSL 02/21/14 - 09:18 am
6
1

Back to my college course in

Back to my college course in Criminology, In the chapter on deterrence, or maybe it was in the one on punishment, "swift and certain" were the words required on the fill-in-the-blanks part of the final exam. Also we were taught that it is not punishment if you just have to pay retribution if and when you get caught. Where is the deterrence in that. It seems that human beings innately need to fear consequences of wrong doing, when you get down to the bases of our species (help me out Biz. I have never typed the word or read it much) She needs punishment.

And what is up with a husband who does not question where that much extra income is coming from. I presume they do file taxes, jointly or separately. Now, my spouse is self-employed. He could be making way more or way less than I know about. She was a w2 person. She had extra money to spend and he did not know it? Looked the other way? She stashed it? Gambled it?

My bottom line is that, were I a citizen of Cola Co, I would not be in favor of the proposal on the table.

KSL
105558
Points
KSL 02/21/14 - 09:05 am
5
1

J

Where is the deterrence in that for her replacement? That is more "I will do it until I get away with it. If I get caught, I will just pay it back and move on."

We already have way too much of that in Washington.

southern2
4212
Points
southern2 02/21/14 - 09:31 am
7
0

Just got an "Official Tax

Just got an "Official Tax Matter" letter from Columbia County wanting information on a used boat I purchased last year. The penalty for non-compliance is more than Mrs. Allen faces at the moment.

Can't help but to be suspicious about whose bank account needs pumping up with my indulgence.

KSL
105558
Points
KSL 02/21/14 - 09:13 am
3
1

sorry

My posts are far outdated Had not read the previous ones. My keyboard fingers are faster than a stylus. And my eyesight often does not catch typos.

ProudAFL
30
Points
ProudAFL 02/21/14 - 09:11 am
7
0

Number of Years in Prison

The only deal she should be negotiating is how many years she will serve in prison.

ProudAFL
30
Points
ProudAFL 02/21/14 - 09:14 am
9
0

Disservice

“It would be a great disservice to the taxpayers of Co­lumbia County for the Coun­ty’s elected Com­missioners to refuse even to discuss this matter with us and then to simply move forward with a lawsuit.”

Are you joking? She has done a great disservice to the taxpayers by stealing their money.

Marinerman1
3189
Points
Marinerman1 02/21/14 - 09:21 am
9
0

DEAL ??!!

Almost choked on my breakfast with this one. She fired Dwight over $50. Where was HIS deal? No, I think she needs to redecorate Linda's cell. BUT, that might take some time. While we're waiting for Ashley Wright to get off the pot, remember she also has this little Scott Dean item that she hasn't addressed yet. This could take awhile.

nocnoc
30711
Points
nocnoc 02/21/14 - 09:23 am
8
0

Ain't Look Good for either side

when the accused is in a position to make offers.

It is like saying there is a problem that needs fixing.
But, is the current problem clearly defined in the LAW and Tax Office Operations SOP.

I still see her and the DA sitting on a Razors edge of the law each wondering who will fall off or get cut 1st.

KSL
105558
Points
KSL 02/21/14 - 09:26 am
4
1

Kind of makes criminal

Kind of makes criminal lawyers look like fools, doesn't it?

Not really. They just have a job that puts them in an impossible position.But our Bill of Rights says that the accused have to have someone.

Stunned 2
2265
Points
Stunned 2 02/21/14 - 09:48 am
8
0

Send ALL of us a check for $93,000

If the Commission thinks Columbia County residents don't mind if they make some kind of deal with her, that does not include prosecution - Then it would only be fair to give all of us $93,000. Most of us have not had the time or inclination to practice & perfect thieving skills - So, the Commissioners can mail the checks to us.

7even
12
Points
7even 02/21/14 - 10:36 am
10
0

KROGER Duty

Forcing an employee to report to KROGER all day is reason enough to remove Kay Allen from office. There is no justification for that type of absurd / ridiculous behavior.

GiantsAllDay
8103
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/21/14 - 10:49 am
10
0

I hope she's using her

I hope she's using her temporary freedom wisely. I imagine she is secluded in her home watching "Orange Is The New Black" on Netflix in order to prepare her for life in a women's prison.

bright idea
468
Points
bright idea 02/21/14 - 11:35 am
4
0

Indeed Giants

Is this woman showing up at her office every day during this?

Discussionstarter
429
Points
Discussionstarter 02/21/14 - 11:38 am
4
0

Kay needs to face jail time and Ron needs to resign

The audit in 2009 showed that there were major problems. Ron says.... I will call the governor if you don't give us some money. Ever since 2009.... Ron, as Chairman, should have ordered annual internal AND external auditing of this department. He did not. Business 101.... you did not protect the interests of the Citizens of Columbia County.... please RESIGN!

Discussionstarter
429
Points
Discussionstarter 02/21/14 - 11:38 am
2
0

Kay needs to face jail time and Ron needs to resign

The audit in 2009 showed that there were major problems. Ron says.... I will call the governor if you don't give us some money. Ever since 2009.... Ron, as Chairman, should have ordered annual internal AND external auditing of this department. He did not. Business 101.... you did not protect the interests of the Citizens of Columbia County.... please RESIGN!

corgimom
19199
Points
corgimom 02/21/14 - 11:55 am
0
4

Nobody is going to do

Nobody is going to do anything about Scott Dean. Why should she?

He's convicted, he's now the State of Georgia's problem, not hers.

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