published Friday, March 15th, 2013

Hamilton County may appoint audit committee

Despite giving a shining endorsement of his staff and Hamilton County's Finance Department, County Auditor Bill McGriff asked county commissioners Thursday to consider forming an audit committee.

At the commission's agenda session, McGriff said rules changed for ThreeStar, a state grant program that offers incentives to cities and counties that support economic development, efficient government, public safety and other governmental issues.

To keep a "good grade" with the program, McGriff said Hamilton County needs to appoint at least three people to the committee. State comptroller guidelines say the committee should include government officials, residents or a combination.

But commissioners immediately ruled out appointing members of the public.

Commissioner Greg Beck said he wants a committee of commissioners, although he said he didn't care to sit on it.

Commissioner Marty Haynes suggested the entire commission become the audit committee.

In any event, McGriff said the county also would have to set up a fraud hotline for residents or government employees to report suspected fiscal wrongdoing.

In other business, commissioners:

• Heard a report from County Assessor Bill Bennett and agreed to vote Wednesday on a resolution allowing him to begin the 2017 county reappraisal.

• Agreed to vote on bids for one-year contract pricing for inmate uniforms at the Hamilton County Jail.

• Agreed to vote on a $262,496 bid from Stowers Machinery Corp. to replace a 32-year-old bulldozer for the highway department.

• Agreed to vote to amend county purchasing rules to add research and consulting services.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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