News 12 at 11 / Tuesday, March 4, 2014
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- The saga of the Columbia County Tax Commissioner has come to an end. Tuesday night Kay Allen and her husband Commissioner Charles Allen both submitted their resignations.
It's a cordial end to what could have been a long, expensive court battle. Now the county says it's time to move on.
"It brings to an end a situation that was not pleasant for anybody," Chairman Ron Cross said. "Mrs. Allen will retire immediately. The letter will be mailed to the Governor tonight. Mr. Allen has submitted his resignation to me, which is the proper channel."
A visit from the Allen's local attorney at Tuesday's board meeting featured a statement from the couple explaining their decision. It read, "It is clear to Charles and me that it is not in the interests of the citizens of Columbia County -- or for our family -- for this to continue. With that in mind we have decided to jointly retire from public office."
It's a decision their attorney says was an easy one with Charles' diagnosis of prostate cancer.
"Charles has a health problem, and both of them will be 70 this year, so it was really was a question of do you retire today, or do you retire a couple years from now? No big deal," attorney Jack Long said.
It's a resolution that saves the county and taxpayers a good bit of money.
"It's a lot of money to be spent on lawsuits. You remember when the government sues you, they are using taxpayer money," Long reminded.
That wasn't the only money in question, though. Kay Allen was accused of wrongfully pocketing nearly $160,000 from the cities of Harlem and Grovetown. Commissioners say they found a resolution for that, too.
"It was mutually agreed we would split the money that was in contention because she did deserve some compensation for performing the duties to Harlem and Grovetown," Cross said.
The county now has a check for roughly $80,000. Allen was allowed to keep the rest. Kay Allen's resignation will be finalized as soon as the Governor receives her letter. It will be mailed tonight.
Commissioner Allen's resignation goes into effect Wednesday morning.
Now it's up to Gov. Nathan Deal to decide when to schedule a special election for Tax Commissioner and District 3 Commissioner.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW)-Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, and her husband, Commissioner Charles Allen, will resign. Commissioners announced the two will not run for reelection either.
The Commission voted to accept their resignations Tuesday evening.
Allen's attorney said the couple decided to resign together, because the situation had become too much of a distraction.
Chairman Ron Cross said this ends litigation between the commissioners and Tax Commissioner Allen.