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Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen resign

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:10 PM
Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 1:55 AM
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Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen and her husband, District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen, both agreed to resign Tuesday.

Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen and her husband, District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen, struck a deal with the county Tuesday, both agreeing to resign from office, officials said.  FILE/MICHAEL HOLAHAN
FILE/MICHAEL HOLAHAN
Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen and her husband, District 3 Commissioner Charles Allen, struck a deal with the county Tuesday, both agreeing to resign from office, officials said.

The Board of Commissioners announced the Allens’ resignations after a closed executive session with attorneys at the end of Tuesday’s meeting. Augusta attorney Jack Long arrived with a sheaf of settlement agreements already signed by the Allens, who were not present.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the agreement brings to an end the county’s dispute with Kay Allen over more than $160,000 in fees she was paid by the cities of Harlem and Grovetown since 2009 for providing tax collection services. Commissioners contended Allen’s additional compensation from the cities violated a state law that regulated such agreements, and that the money should have been remitted to the county instead.

Long said the dispute had “erupted into a full-scale political and legal battle” that the Allens decided to end before it cost the taxpayers more money in legal fees.

“They hope the healing process will begin for Columbia County,” he said.

In the settlement agreement approved by commissioners Tuesday, Allen must return half the money to the county, a total of $80,650, and submit her resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal. The county also agreed to allow Allen to retire with her state benefits intact and to withdraw its letter to the governor seeking her removal from office.

County Administrator Scott Johnson said he had the tax commissioner’s resignation letter in hand and planned to submit it to Deal’s office later Tuesday night. Johnson said Charles Allen’s resignation was effective immediately.

Johnson said as soon as Kay Allen’s resignation is effective, Deputy Tax Commissioner Steve Adams will step in to fill her position. It will be up to the governor to call for a special election. Johnson said he will make contact with Deal’s office Wednesday to discuss the possibility of timing any special election to coincide with the primary in May.

He also said the District 3 commission seat could be filled at the same time, although no details had been worked out yet.

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IBeDogGone
2871
Points
IBeDogGone 03/04/14 - 08:12 pm
13
2
Finally

It is about time they did!

willie7
914
Points
willie7 03/04/14 - 08:22 pm
0
0
It definitely about
Unpublished

It definitely about time.
Should have resigned 2 months ago.

Just My Opinion
5263
Points
Just My Opinion 03/04/14 - 08:25 pm
9
1
Inevitable.

Inevitable.

Truth Matters
6182
Points
Truth Matters 03/04/14 - 08:46 pm
9
1
"My fellow Citizens, our long

"My fellow Citizens, our long county nightmare is over."
Said the Commissioners.

Riverman1
79277
Points
Riverman1 03/04/14 - 08:56 pm
22
3
Continue To Go After the Money in Question

The resignations should not end the efforts to recover the funds in question.

Sweet son
9682
Points
Sweet son 03/04/14 - 08:55 pm
17
4
"My fellow Citizens, our long county nightmare is over."

Not so fast!!! Truth Matters' quote above does not relieve Ms. Allen from the possible crimes that she has committed There is still the fact that Kay Allen stole money from Columbia County!!! She has no right to think that by resigning that she will or should get a pass for her thievery! She should still be held accountable and made to pay back all of the funds that she embezzled from the Columbia County government and all of it's citizens.

Riverman1
79277
Points
Riverman1 03/04/14 - 08:58 pm
19
3
Law Breaking Can't Be Ignored

Sweetson, that crossed my mind, too. The law breaking has to be addressed in some fashion. It can't simply be ignored.

truthfinder
123
Points
truthfinder 03/04/14 - 09:26 pm
3
13
Law Breaking

What law was broken, and when was that proven? When did the DA press charges?

682
Points
Barry Paschal 03/04/14 - 09:26 pm
18
1
Just a question here

What gives anyone the impression that these resignations will do anything to preclude potential prosecution? I would assume criminal prosecution will proceed independently, separate from any civil action to recover missing funds.

truthfinder
123
Points
truthfinder 03/04/14 - 09:31 pm
4
8
Political games

If you think that Mrs. Allen would be allowed to retain her retirement benefits if she was as "guilty" as everyone says, then you are horribly naive. Columbia County commissioners got exactly what they wanted all along - Kay Allen out of that position. They never wanted her prosecuted. Now to get Ron Cross out. And I can tell you this on good authority - if Dwight Johnson thinks he's waltzing back in, he is terribly mistaken. He has too much dirt on his hands. And it WILL come out, I can promise you that. There is solid evidence on his misdeeds.

mll
632
Points
mll 03/04/14 - 09:36 pm
15
2
This shouldn't be over......

I also believe besides possible indictments Mrs. Allen should lose her state retirement. Perhaps her contributions to it could be returned to her but she should not benefit from the county & state that she cheated.

mll
632
Points
mll 03/04/14 - 09:36 pm
6
2
This shouldn't be over......

I also believe besides possible indictments Mrs. Allen should lose her state retirement. Perhaps her contributions to it could be returned to her but she should not benefit from the county & state that she cheated.

jmb578
94
Points
jmb578 03/04/14 - 09:37 pm
17
2
Kay Cares?

Funny to me that Kay Allen is all of sudden worried about her situation costing Columbia County taxpayers a lot of money in legal fees. Where was that caring attitude when she stole $160,000 from us? How nice of her to suddenly put her constituents first. I'm glad she resigned, but the cloud hanging over Columbia County won't completely go away until she pays back ALL of the money and criminal charges are filed against her.

Riverman1
79277
Points
Riverman1 03/04/14 - 09:44 pm
14
2
Barry, it shouldn't and

Barry, it shouldn't and won't. For me, my comments were addressing the first few comments that seemed to be content with her only stepping down. The civil action will continue to recover the money. Plus, the DA will have to address the criminal ramifications. If we all agree with that, we're on the same page.

mll
632
Points
mll 03/04/14 - 09:49 pm
12
2
Kay Cares?

Yes, I agree that that's a bunch of political bull. Caring that the taxpayers would have to pay additional legal fees if what.....she tried to fight the charges? My guess she had no legal standing to fight so this was political speak for 'I'm really a good person, see, I'm saving my beloved county money from prosecuting me'. Also, I have a problem with this compromise & settlement happening behind closed doors. This should be open information to all of the public. Columbia County citizens have a right to know what the county "settled" for & why they did & how much money totally was involved. Plus you add in her retirement & I would state clearly that Columbia County got left holding the bag. She seems to be making out pretty good if she also avoids prosecution.

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 03/04/14 - 09:51 pm
13
2
Keep half of the money gotten

Keep half of the money gotten illegally, retain your state retirement, and resign? Boy they really went for the throat. I feel bad for Mrs. Allen and I hope she is able to squeak by. I love dog and pony shows!

mll
632
Points
mll 03/04/14 - 10:01 pm
10
2
Kay Allen

I also have a problem with the county allowing the Kay Allen to resign rather than being fired. I would assume that what she did was wrong according to the county so why wasn't she fired? It was either wrong which would require firing or it was not wrong so she didn't even need to resign. According to the news reports, what she did was wrong so I really don't understand the double speak, wrong = firing, right =keeping her job. Someone please explain that one to me.

Riverman1
79277
Points
Riverman1 03/04/14 - 10:01 pm
12
3
Wow...Surprising Settlement

The updates to the story make our previous comments confusing, but the settlement with Allen is disappointing in its leniency. She keeps some of the money? Let's hope the DA is not so lenient.

Riverman1
79277
Points
Riverman1 03/04/14 - 10:09 pm
12
2
@Barry

"I would assume criminal prosecution will proceed independently, separate from any civil action to recover missing funds."

Heh. You were half right about recovering the missing funds. See why the comments were skeptical now? Such a move by the county also clouds the criminal issue.

SnakeCatcher
36
Points
SnakeCatcher 03/04/14 - 10:32 pm
14
2
Forgive Hell

There is no way a County Commission can "forgive" $80,000 that was stolen from the taxpayers. Only a jury can acquit or more likely convict Kay Allen. If she is not indicted by the DA or the Federal Government - IRA for tax evasion soon, I will go to the Board of Elections and register a recall committee to recall Ron Cross and any other commissioner on record as approving this travesty.

682
Points
Barry Paschal 03/04/14 - 10:34 pm
11
4
Not really

To mll: The county commission can't "fire" the tax commissioner. It's a constitutional office, like sheriff or clerk of court. Only the governor has authority to remove a constitutional officer from office.
To Riverman: The settlement ends the civil action. The DA and the feds don't care about the civil part; at this stage, that's important only when the defendant is telling it to the judge - or negotiating for her own legal settlement, which is highly likely.

galaxygrl
1165
Points
galaxygrl 03/04/14 - 10:37 pm
9
1
Fired

MIl,
She can not be fired, she is an elected official. She can resign, be recalled or the Governor can ask her to step down based on evidence and prosecution.
Snakecatcher,
There are specific rules about get an elected official recalled as well as a timeline. You might want to check the rules first.

682
Points
Barry Paschal 03/04/14 - 10:39 pm
8
2
Galaxygrl FTW

Galaxygrl gets it.

truthfinder
123
Points
truthfinder 03/04/14 - 10:39 pm
7
7
Barry and Galaxygirl

You guys are wasting your time putting facts out there. No matter how many times the facts are presented people keep saying the same thing over and over. There are going to be some silly looking people at the end of this fiasco.

SnakeCatcher
36
Points
SnakeCatcher 03/04/14 - 10:53 pm
8
1
Galaxygrl - I know the rules

I have done petitions before - with success.

just an opinion
2351
Points
just an opinion 03/04/14 - 10:51 pm
11
1
Crime Does Pay

She gets to keep 1/2.

mll
632
Points
mll 03/04/14 - 10:54 pm
7
1
I contend that I was stupid

for saying she should have been fired. In the heat of the moment I forgot she was an elected official. However, I do think Columbia county officials, the governor, whoever, owe it to the citizens of this county to do whatever it takes to address this embarrassing situation & I like many others are sick & tired of corruption within the ranks of our local, state & federal government. I'm tired of the "deals" & I'm tired of the politics determining right & wrong.

682
Points
Barry Paschal 03/04/14 - 11:00 pm
2
7
Where?

mll, where has "politics determined right and wrong" in this case? The local officials seem to be addressing it, just as you say you want. What do you expect to happen differently?

Butterman
3410
Points
Butterman 03/04/14 - 11:02 pm
7
2
Pretty Boy

Can they please take pretty boy Ricky along with them?

SnakeCatcher
36
Points
SnakeCatcher 03/04/14 - 11:06 pm
8
2
Lack of intelligence and leadership

Why would reasonably intelligent (?) people (the four commissioners) put their positions and reputations at risk by agreeing to a deal that allows a disgraced individual to illegally keep TAXPAYER funds? They have some fiduciary responsibility to make sure taxpayer funds are collected and properly spent. Make no mistake - the money paid to Kay Allen by Harlem and Grovetown to manage their tax collections was taxpayer money. How dare them give my tax dollars away.

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