Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Jim Fullington said Tuesday that his office is waiting for the Madison County government to complete an audit of the board of commissioners’ office. Once the audit is finalized, the agency will conduct an investigation into reported missing funds in the BOC office.
Fullington said there is no estimate yet on how much money is missing.
“We don’t have an exact dollar amount,” he said.
Fullington said he doesn’t expect the case to drag on for months, noting that the length of an investigation is often determined by the complexity of a money trail.
“At this point, I don’t think that this is going to be a case that will be a long, drawn out thing over five or six months,” he said. “But that said, we really won’t know until we get into it.”
The investigator said the GBI has questioned a couple of people in the case but that the agency won’t necessarily interview every employee in the office.
“It depends on what the audit shows,” said Fullington, adding that the GBI will look at when and where the money went missing and who had access to it.
Fullington noted that the Athens GBI office has six agents working 11 counties. Those agents have conducted a number of government investigations in recent months, including a previous probe of the Madison County BOC office after senior center funds were reported missing. That investigation led to the arrest of deputy clerk Melinda Spence, who was charged with the theft of approximately $1,700 in senior center funds.
On Monday, GBI agents arrested arrested former Arnoldsville Volunteer Fire Chief Albert “Joe” Siegert, 33, Athens, for allegedly taking in excess of $39,000 from the fire department. Earlier this month, Cindy Smith, former executive secretary of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, was arrested for allegedly stealing $70,000 in government funds.
So, are you saying the county is going to do its own investigation then let the GBI in?
If this has been going on for some time (obviously a possibility)then is the county finance department really qualified to do a audit? Could they cover up any mis-directed funds? This doesn't make sense to me.
Thank you for clearing this up.......
So, the county finance department gives the information to the audit company, and then the GBI.....I hope everyone get's cooperation and the turn out is accurate and positive.
If you knew Joe Siegert this would not be a surprise to you. He does not take responsabilities for his actions and never will. He needs to be punished for his actions. Punish all of them to the fullest extent of the law. Joe if you read this you will know who this is.