As a Candidate for Court of Appeals, Stan Gunter has received some heavy weight Republican endorsements including one from Sonny Perdue just last Friday. Like Perdue, Gunter is a party switcher, but I’m sure Perdue would be surprised to find that Gunter voted in the Democratic Primary and Runoff in 2008. Generally when you switch parties you quit voting in your old party’s Primaries.
For the past eight years, Stan Gunter has served as District Attorney in the Enotah Judicial Circuit in northeast Georgia. The Enotah Judicial Circuit includes Union County where a strange story has been brewing. A recent audit of the Tax Commissioner’s office uncovered the theft of $65,230.95. The employee was confronted by the Tax Commissioner and given three days to return the money in full (story here and here). Amazingly the employee complied with the demand and the problem went away. The District Attorney’s office was never involved.
If this were an isolated incident it might easily be dismissed but it’s not the first time money has allegedly disappeared from the Tax Commissioner’s office. In 2004, long time Union County Tax Commissioner J.W. Payne was being challenged for reelection by Republican Chris Bergen. Bergen took out an ad in the North Georgia News showing IOUs made out to the Union County Tax Commissioner’s office allegedly from Payne. Again, no action was taken by the District Attorney’s office and Payne was reelected easily.
These two incidents are troubling and questions need to be asked. Why, on two occasions, did Stan Gunter not investigate troubling circumstances at the Union County Tax Commissioners office? I think voters need to know before voting in the Court of Appeals race.