Monroe Commissioners hire interim county manager and finance director

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Commissioners in Monroe County have filled two recently vacant county positions.

From one Thursday to the next, Monroe County Commissioners seem to have come full circle with two new interim hires after the discovery of some missing money from the general fund.

This comes exactly a week after firing a former finance director and demoting the county manager.

Though they’re on track to getting financial woes in order, a residents and commissioners are still feeling the sting that started with a lie.

“We were told that it was a software issue…a new software that the county had gone to in 2016,” said Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Greg Tapley.

A lie of omission that snow-balled into thousands of dollars worth of IRS payroll tax penalty fines over the last three years.

“She was paying it late. When she submitted payroll within three days, you’re supposed to submit the payroll tax to federal and state government. She was not doing that,” Tapley explained.

When County officials caught on to the mistake former finance director, Ashley Wooley, had made for a second consecutive year, she was fired and her supervisor, county manager Anita Buice, was demoted.

“I thought we had solved the problem and then to find out again that the problem hadn’t been fixed like it should’ve been again, it was just disappointing,” Tapley continued.

It left residents shocked with more than $200,000 in tax payer dollars gone to state and federal government fines.

“I wouldn’t expect her to do that. I would expect her to be honest,” said one resident Patsy Smith.

At the same time, it left commissioners charged with finding a solution. Chairman Greg Tapley says after some deliberation the commission has agreed on two interim candidates.

“We have taken two steps: 1) We’ve brought back a past county clerk, Mrs. Gayle King,” Tapley told 41NBC.

The other step is hiring former county pricing agent Kathy Pritchett as temporary finance director.

“We as leaders have made the right decision to remove who we’ve removed demote the person we’ve demoted,” he added.

With two well respected and trusted former county employees, the commission will begin to push forward for the community.

As of now, there’s roughly $3 million in the county’s general fund, and fortunately, no budgets were impacted by the oversight.

Tapley says they hope to have permanent positions filled in the next three to six months. Neither of the two interim hires are expected to continue in the role past that time.

He also told 41NBC that they don’t plan to file any criminal charges against Wooley.

Categories: Local News, Monroe County

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