George responds to commissioner’s letter
County Commissioner Stacy George sent this letter to the Enquirer in response to the letter from Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott that appeared in last week’s issue.
Over the course of the years I have been on a crusade to save your tax dollars from those who abuse your money such as excessive travel, some cases for personal use and sometimes for profit.
This is my rebuttal to a grossly inaccurate letter Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott wrote and distributed throughout the county. Ms. Scott is wrong; when the Decatur Daily, Hartselle Enquirer, Channel 19, and Commissioner Stacy George have the same story then you decide who is accurate.
First, you need to know why Ms. Scott dislikes me so much; several years ago I found where Ms. Scott was not paying her travel expenses back when she went to the beach with your money.
It was found she owed you (the taxpayers) hundreds of dollars on trips to beach conferences and other places that she said she forgot to pay back. In the past the county issued travel advance money for hotel, mileage, and food. By law we are only supposed to pay for our personal meals. For example, usually when I travel it is common to see a No. One combo at McDonalds or something similar.
Back to her travel money; Ms. Scott waited until I brought it to her attention to pay the money back which was over a year later. She said she forgot and paid interest on the money and the rest was as usual swept under the rug and called an oversight on her part.
Second, it was brought public by me in a public setting that she had hundreds of calls to a number in Jackson County and I asked her about the amount of calls; later it was reported to be a Revenue Commissioner in Jackson County.
These are some of the reasons Ms. Scott does not like me and continues to bring false rhetoric about Stacy George.
I will attempt to follow Ms. Scott’s letter in parallel form to point out a different version than hers although some is factual.
This scandal started by an email that I did not send, as verified by Channel 19 on numerous occasions. The only courthouse rumors I have heard is that Ms. Scott has had a copy of this email months before it aired on Channel 19. Courthouse chatter also says that the reason this was released to the media was because a couple of weeks earlier the Chairman blocked the chat room al.com/Decatur. As shown already Ms. Scott and I have different views on how we should serve the people of Morgan County; I believe the people should be served in the light, everything above board nothing to hide; Ms. Scott portrays people should be in the dark and what the taxpayers do not know will not hurt them. As for a witch hunt let us define witch (a person that does evil deeds preferring to be in the dark hours of the night not in the light). Let us define hunt (trying to obtain something that you set out to get). The full county commission passed two resolutions to do an investigation of misuse of county computers. The last resolution defined all elected officials, political appointees, and a random check of employees. This is all public record at the courthouse. As Chairman Pro-tem of the Commission I was to carry out this resolution because the Chairman was involved and recused himself. As for what is on Ms. Scott’s hard drive I do not know. As for what is on the email server I do not know. All I do know is whatever is there from a “sensitive perspective” can be no more sensitive than the License Commissioner, Sales Tax Director, EMA director (who deals with true Homeland Security, etc. who had no problem with an examination and most of all came back from forensic examination with no pornography, excessive improper use, and the hard drives were not tampered with.
As for Ms. Scott’s objection to the hard drive being imaged that is correct. The problem that Ms. Scott is and was aware of is simple; in order to subject her hard drive to the same forensic examination as the other 19 people in Morgan County it must be done in Jefferson County not Morgan County and anything of a “sensitive nature if any would be destroyed” but anything else would be treated as a public record.
I want to make it clear to you that:
(1) Ms. Scott has an objection for the hard drive in her office being checked for pornography,
(2) Ms. Scott has an objection for the hard drive in her office being checked for tampering, and
(3) Ms. Scott’s email on the email server will be looked at whether she has objection or not, but she does have an objection.
How do I know this? Because she has gone out of her bounds to stop all three of the above and if she did not object she would not be writing the letter I am responding to.
Ms. Scott will not accept a credit card to pay property tax and your entire information about how much I pay and you pay is all on her web site anyway open to anyone in the world who wants to know.
I have never made a threat against Ms. Scott or any of her employees.
Now, here is what happened and has been covered in multiple media coverage which all has the same story. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006 I sent a memorandum to all department heads, political appointees, and elected officials giving them a schedule for Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006. On Thursday I treated everyone the same and only had a few obstacles.
I told them it would take approximately 30 min. to 1hr. to complete the hard drive imaging depending on the size of their hard drives. Shortly after the investigation started Ms. Scott the first to complain came up to the fifth floor and told me I could not have her hard drive and she and her hourly employee Ms. Fields said they were leaving and her door was going to be locked. At that time I told our computer folks to go get the hard drive, I notified maintenance to open the door because Ms. Scott said they were leaving. I notified our certified officers (who provide security during commission meetings) we were having a problem with Ms. Scott and her hard drive. Yes, they do carry a gun all of the time but the gun was not needed for the task at hand. They accompanied the computer folks to Ms. Scott’s office and this is where the big lie starts.
I did not step one foot in Ms. Scott’s office and I challenge one person to say I did-no one can. Then maintenance opened the door and there sits the next lie remember “I will not be there” she said.
She was there they said then she said “my hard drive is locked in my safe” and my political appointees is not available to anyone either. Before our certified officers went to Ms. Scott’s office I made a joke and said if you can not get the hard drive just document her actions because that would make a horrible site dragging Ms. Scott in the elevator holding on to that hard drive.
She changed her locks without authorization and that is why the commission made her pay for this improper procedure from her discretionary fund that we have no jurisdiction over.
This other incident from February 2006 I am not familiar with. The commissioner she refers to is the Chairman of the Commission who is over the records she is talking about. The only reason she uses commissioner is to make you think this is me and she is probably hoping the chairman will try to stop me from looking at a public record.
I want to state also that all data “sensitive or whatever” on the 20th of this month will be destroyed by contract. Now, the pornography found and put on a CD is now a public record as well as the report.
I want to address cost: the cost of this full investigation with no objections from anyone would have cost about $5000. This to me is a small price to pay so the public will know this incident is confined to a few folks and not everyone in Morgan County is sending inappropriate email.
I want to address the (al.com) chat room. This is not a proper use of a county computer and we may never know the truth. She refused to let the truth set her free during our investigation and now it is over; she is now trying to make excuses for her actions to cover her re-election bid early next year.
As your County Commissioner I will continue to fight for the taxpayers of Morgan County and I can only apologize for one thing.
I am sorry that I appear to be the only one that cares about the way your public servants use your tax dollars for personal use, personal satisfaction, and I honestly do not know what will be found next; I hope nothing bad is found and the people of Morgan County can be proud of it again. But if something good or bad is found you can rest assured I will not sweep it under the rug.
I want to say thank you to the countless number of people who have offered me words of encouragement and support. I pledge to you I will not stop this crusade for good government and from this point forward it should not cost you (taxpayers) anymore money.
Rest assured a public record is well defined in the Code of Alabama and this issue will have closure. I thank you for allowing me to serve as your Commissioner who is elected county-wide and if you choose to keep me here I am one politician that will not change the day after the election and that has been well documented and proven already.
District Four County Commissioner