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Thursday, November 19, 2009

“Much Ado About Nothing” :Sharon Cox tells the “Rest of the Story”

By Sid Riley
“These differences have accumulated and grown over many years. Instead of using available budget surplus funds to cover the existence of these persistent differences, I decided to ‘clear the books’ and create a one time correction to eliminate the problem,” was the statement presented by Sharon Cox. She made this statement in relation to the issues in the payroll account for the Property Appraiser’s office which were presented at the November 10 County Commission Meeting, and widely reported in the media.

“In fact, it was me who initiated this entire process and made the request before the Department of Revenue for the $40,706 funds transfer between budgeted accounts in my office to make the needed correction. This was not the result of an audit or action required by any agency in Tallahassee….I decided the correction was needed. DOR informed me that I would need to get an approval letter from the Chairman of the County Commission to complete the process of authorizing the funds transfer, so that was why I wrote the letter to the Board”, she continued. Cox emphasized that the differences in the payroll account were the result of rather complex accounting processes, some of which were made many years ago. “These have remained year after year, and I decided that it was better to get things corrected… and go forward from here with everything in balance. I felt it was a routine administrative matter, and did not imagine it would create such a stir.”

Sharon Cox also wanted to point out that her department always “turns back” unused budgeted funds each year. I have returned money every year,” Cox emphasizes.

“Our department will cooperate fully with the information request made by the commissioners at the meeting. I hope we can resolve this matter, get the records straight, and continue to do the best job possible in serving the citizens of the County,” Cox concluded.

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