BY KELLI PEACOCK DUNN
Liberty County School Superintendent Gay Uzzell was a no-show at Tuesday night's (June 11) emergency School Board meeting. However, one item she placed on the agenda created quite a stir.
A request by Uzzell to have a third party audit of the previous administration's financial record keeping and contracts was on the agenda. When it came up for discussion, Board Member Tina Tharpe made a motion to table the matter in light of an email she received just minutes before leaving to attend the meeting. Tharpe presented the email from Carr, Riggs and Ingram, the accounting firm Uzzell wanted to hire to conduct the third party audit. The email indicated a representative from the firm had met with Uzzell back in December, then entered into a contract with the school district in March with Uzzell reportedly signing an engagement letter to enlist the firm's services. The firm is now demanding payment of $13,000 from the school district for services rendered. The 5-page document suggested some type of accounting review had been performed, but not an actual audit.
"She can't engage them without authorization," Board Chairman Kyle Peddie stated. "Statutes are very clear about that." Peddie remarked he was also concerned about the fact the letter from the accounting firm had not been signed by an individual, simply by Carr, Riggs and Ingram.
As for what to do about the bill, Peddie stated, "The Board has not contracted with Carr, Riggs and Ingram. If [Ms. Uzzell] contracted with them, she owes $13,000. They will have to take that up with her."
The Board agreed unanimously to table the matter.
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