Columbia County is stranger than Augusta, for once

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Columbia County is stranger than Augusta, for once

The Insider 1/15/2014

While Augusta is notorious for airing its dirty laundry out for the entire world to see, Columbia County is the complete opposite. 

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners is quiet, discrete, polite and without controversy.  

That usually plays to Columbia County’s favor, but the past few weeks, it’s been awkwardly strange. 

There is a huge controversy going on in Columbia County with the FBI investigating whether Tax Commissioner Kay Allen has been improperly profiting from contracts to collect taxes for Harlem and Grovetown, but the Columbia County Commission is still acting like business as usual. 

Kay Allen’s husband, Charles Allen Jr., is still serving on the board. The commissioners are trying to conduct business as they normally would, but when they are joking about what types of rental bicycles they are going to offer to improve the quality of life for residents, it’s uncomfortable.

They definitely get the seriousness of what’s going on, but they are trying to ignore it.

That’s impossible.

As for the letter sent from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s office on Jan. 7, Kay Allen has 10 days to “show just cause” as to why she should not be forced to resign or face being removed from office.

Allen’s attorney, Douglas Chalmers Jr., is a powerhouse in the Republican Party. 

Chalmers specializes in campaign finance law, and was the chairman of Lawyers for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Chalmers was also the chief lawyer in Georgia for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign and was a co-chair of Georgia Lawyers for Romney-Ryan. 

That’s impressive, except when he was called for comments this week by members of the local media he would not discuss Kay Allen’s response from the governor. 

Now, county officials are estimating that the payments that Kay Allen allegedly collected unethically could be more than $150,000. 

That’s a lot of money with very little answers from Columbia County officials. 

Richmond County might be crazy, but Columbia County is too secretive. 

You decide which one is better. 

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