City of Waynesboro goes almost $500K over budget

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

(Credit: MGN Online)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, July 5, 2013

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- The City of Waynesboro just got graded on how well it spends taxpayers' dollars.

"I call it a report card for our whole year," said Councilwoman Brenda Lewis.

Lewis sits on the finance and public safety committees, which both play a role in the amount of money auditors say caused the city to overspend.

"That's a lot of money. We are talking about $300,000. Over a quarter of a million," Lewis said.

The financial report says $314,903 was overspent by the police department under former Chief Alfonzo Williams. Lewis says this could be the case, but it's the first time she's hearing it.

"I cannot recall, not one time, that this was talked about," she said.

Lewis says she never heard concerns of overspending while on the finance committee, so we asked if she heard talk during the public safety committee meetings.

"When the chief needed extra money or anything that came up, he was always before the council, the entire council, but there was never a question of $314,000," she said.

Williams told the council at its last meeting that he didn't agree with the findings, and even though he no longer works there, he says he had to for one reason.

"If we don't take time to understand how the auditor got at this number, it looks misleading, and I certainly don't want the people of Waynesboro to be misled," Williams said.

Lewis says she she isn't against the auditor findings but thinks it's her duty to investigate.

"This is very important. When you have findings that are of that amount, come on, you got to look into it," she said.

At the last city council meeting, City Manager Jerry Colason said he would invite the auditor to explain her findings to the board and would welcome former Chief Williams.

However, Lewis says even more should be done than that. Lewis says she will ask for an independent auditor and a forensic audit because this is too much money to go unnoticed for such a long time.

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