Cherokee County residents upset over spending; Audit included - CBS46 News

Cherokee County residents upset over spending; Audit included

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The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss the findings of a forensic audit at their board meeting Tuesday night.

Click here for the audit. (PDF)

The audit found commissioners did nothing illegal; however, the report raised questions about how the county handled a land deal.

It found a number of problems including altered invoices, missing equipment and no contract to determine a purchase price for the land.

At question is more than 36 acres the county purchased in 2006 on Ball Ground Highway. Cherokee County paid more than $18 million for the land and then leased it to a company to run Ball Ground Recycling. However, when that company went out of business, it left the county with an empty facility and footing the bill.

Taxpayers are currently forking over $100,000 every month in lease payments for the closed down facility.

"It's an egregious breach of public trust, and it seems like the hits just keep coming," said Raleigh Morgan, a resident of Cherokee County for 57 years.

"I'd like to get some clarification on what happened, where our money went and who's responsible," said Brian Poole, who represents District 3 on the commission and is one of the newest members.

To further complicate matters, Cowart Mulch, a Cumming-based company, filed a lawsuit against Cherokee County last week. The suit alleges the county was negotiating with Cowart Mulch to move into the recycling facility, all the while going behind the company's back and negotiating with its competitors.

"This was so mishandled and so badly botched, I feel like they should just resign," said Morgan.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners meeting begins at 6 p.m.

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