A resolution urging oversight will be heard before the State Committee for the Republican Party tomorrow, but the GOP isn’t the only one working on the issue. Rob Pitts passes along the following press release:
Board of Commissioners Approves Pitts’ Resolution to Monitor Fulton County Forfeiture Funds
Commissioner called for annual audits of departments’ expenditures of forfeiture funds
At its June 19, 2013 Recess Meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution introduced by District 2 Commissioner Robb Pitts requiring all recipients of forfeiture funds to submit to no less than annual audits of forfeiture fund expenditures. Voting for the resolution were Commissioners Darnell, Eaves, Edwards and Pitts.
District Attorney (DA) Paul Howard has recently come under media scrutiny for how his office has spent forfeiture funds and has publicly announced that he will make a formal request to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to conduct an independent review of funds spent by his office that come from property seized from suspected criminals. By asking the GBI to review those expenditures, the DA feels strongly that the public will be able to see that the funds were spent within the confines of the law. Commissioner Pitts has gone on record stating that he supports the DA’s decision to be transparent and seek the outside review.
After carefully reviewing the legislation, Pitts was concerned that the current guidelines could best be described as vague and rather “loosey goosey”. Pitts supports placing tighter, more restrictive guidelines that specify the appropriate uses for forfeiture funds so that not only are the taxpayers protected but the District Attorney, Sheriff, and anyone else who receives those funds are as well.
“Hopefully in the 2014 legislative session, the General Assembly will change the State law so that it is crystal clear as to what is permissible and what is not to avoid the appearance of impropriety”, states Pitts. “Until the law can be changed, I felt that it was important that the Board of Commissioners enact a policy that ensures a high level of transparency on how forfeiture funds are spent and the Board agreed.”