An article in the October 8, 2010 Mobile Press-Register, which is conveniently a long way from Shelby County, Alabama reports that an "unidentified" SCC employee "initiated unauthorized withdrawals totaling $15,403 from the commission’s bank accounts on 19 different occasions" during an audit conducted by the state.
We're shocked. (No, not really.)
The "unidentified" employee paid back the pilfered funds and police are investigating the matter. 19 withdrawals before they were caught? Ridiculous and illustrative of no oversight or close supervision of who has access to the money--how many more county accounts have that problem?
Here's the county's response essentially downplaying the whole thing (note the "valued member" descriptor);
If this had not been caught in a state audit would that "valued member" still be employed?"The account involved was a low volume low dollar balance account," the county said in its response to the audit. "The employee in question was a valued member of the department that had been assigned the oversight responsibilities for this particular account."
Outrageous, but not at all surprising considering this all white, all republican viper pit of corruption.
The audit also reports problems in the County jail who must not have learned that shopping at discount stores really does save a lot of money;
"Let's blame it on the vendor you guys." (nods of agreement)State auditors also questioned about $188,000 in spending by the county jail for products purchased outside the bid system. County officials said that the purchases in question were of cleaning products for the jail and that jail employees were using an outdated vendor list for such purchases. The purchase system reportedly has been changed.
"We'll just say we changed something to improve what we're doing."
"We did that with the newspaper and look how well that worked out." (vigorous nods of more approval)
In this county "change" is code-speak for "hiding something."
Deputies question Dudchock appointment BhamNews Dec 2009 reader comments are telling.
Who are they trying to kid? That outrageous figure for "cleaning products" was for cleaning alright--but probably not of the Pine Sol nature.
SunshineReview.org Shelby County
*Update-The Birmingham News has finally run this story in their Local Section pp. 1C & 3C. We might add their story appears four days after ours and the original Press-Register article.
The employee, whose name was not included in the fiscal 2009 audit, made the withdrawals on 19 occasions and made fictitious adjustments to a bank reconciliation, according to a corrective action plan developed by the county.
They are STILL downplaying this theft and refusing to release the perpetrator's name. This is wrong, theft is a criminal act and this is not how a county should operate that takes in revenues from public citizens."It's always a difficult situation when a trusted employee violates their fiduciary duty," Shelby County Commission Chairwoman Lindsey Allison said Monday. "I think we handled it appropriately upon the discovery of missing funds. The county has been made whole at this point, and the employee is no longer with us."County Finance Manager Butch Burbage said Monday he was advised by county's legal staff that he would have to defer to the Shelby County district attorney's office on any release of the employee's name. The district attorney's office was closed Monday for Columbus Day, and efforts to reach prosecutors for comment were unsuccessful.
We have checked many other stories in different parts of the country of this same kind of crime and in most cases, almost all of them in fact, the criminal (yes, that's what they are) is identified and usually winds up serving some jail time for their crime.
Why is this county protecting this person and making great effort to hide behind their county District Attorney (Robert Owens) and county lawyers (Butch Ellis)?
Lindsey Allison has been replaced by Corley Ellis as the new chair of the Shelby County Commission by commission election Monday Oct. 11 in another Bham News article from the October 12 edition of the paper.
Are these two incidents related? If they are, expect the county to explain the change as "routine." The DA was unavailable on Columbus Day as were the "prosecutors" yet, the SCC could meet for business on a holiday and vote on a new chairman?
Something very fishy (and criminal) is going on in Shelby County. Where are the outside authorities?