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County Commission To Consider Forensic Audit RFP

Cherokee County Commissioners will consider hiring McClendon & Associates to perform a forensic audit on the Ball Ground Recycling deal.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will consider hiring a Newnan-based firm to perform an audit on the Ball Ground Recycling deal during its meeting today.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. following its 3 p.m. work session. Both meetings will be held at the county administration building.

Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper recommends engaging McClendon & Associates to perform the forensic audit related to the project in an amount not to exceed $75,000.

McClendon & Associates was one of four firms recommended by a Cherokee County grand jury that elected to review the Ball Ground Recycling deal earlier this year.

As part of the audit, the firm will review county commissioners and county management, will seek and take direction from District Attorney Garry Moss and will reach back to 2005 in its investigation. 

If more money is needed to perform the work, county staff will come back to the commission for approval. 

The county in October voted to seek RFPs to perform an audit on the Resource Recovery Development Authority's deal to back bonds up to $18 million to relocate Cherokee Recycling, later renamed Ball Ground Recycling, to land near Ball Ground. 

The forensic audit was one of 13 recommendations issued by the grand jury for the county to undertake in an effort to recoup money lost in the deal. 

The commission in 2006 created the Resource Recovery Development Authority, composed of the five commissioners, and backed up to $18 million in bonds, which were used to relocate the former Cherokee Recycling to land along Highway 5 just south of Ball Ground.

The agreement stipulated Bobo was to make payments of the bond into an escrow account, but the county learned last year Bobo hadn't been making the payments. That forced the county to pick up the tab, which it will still be responsible for if it does not find a new operator for the site.

Ball Ground Recycling in late May filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the company was subsequently forced to remove itself from the property. The county, along with the RRDA, have been in bankruptcy court trying to remove the automatic stay imposed by the bankruptcy filing.

During the commission's work session, Misti Martin, president of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, will give commissioners an update on the department's operations. 

See the attached. PDF to see what else is on tonight's agenda.

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