Madison County supervisor wants state audit - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Madison County supervisor wants state audit

By Howard Ballou - bio | email

JACKSON, MS - (WLBT) A Madison County supervisor wants the state to conduct a comprehensive performance audit of the county's procedures for engineer contracting, planning, operations and billing.

Didstrict 3 supervisor, D. I. Smith is questioning the millions of dollars paid to a Madison County engineer and his company. In the four years Rudy Warnock has served as Madison County's engineer, the county has paid him almost $9.5 million dollars; some of the projects subcontracted to his own company, Warnock and Associates. It has raised eyebrows and questions. District 3 Supervisor D. I. Smith wants answers.

Smith said, "It's alleged on a couple of different contracts that for environmental clearances that the county was billed approximately $327,000  for work he paid subcontractors less than $30,000 and I think that's what the taxpayers are wanting us to do is make sure that they're getting their money's worth from the board of supervisors looking over the operations of the county."

At Monday's board meeting, Smith's motion to bring in the state auditor failed 3-to-2. District 2 Supervisor Tim Johnson was among of those who voted against it, citing cost as one of the reasons.

Said Johnson, "...as far as the audit goes, I view it really as a witch hunt but we welcome the state auditor to come look, but when you look at the performance audit, it's gonna cost $35, $40, $50,000 to do this." Instead of the state auditor, Johnson says a committee of the county administrator, comptroller, chancery clerk and board attorney will conduct an internal evaluation. "...And I believe once the facts are laid out, we get a pretty good rate and we get a great job from our engineers.", said Johnson.

In a telephone interview, Warnock told WLBT, "I'm county engineer of Madison County and I work at the will and pleasure of the board of supervisors and every contract that I have or will have has to be approved by the board of supervisors and D. I. Smith, himself, has voted for those very contracts."

District 4 Supervisor, Karl Banks, reached by telephone, also characterized the audit request as a witch hunt saying it is "a lot to to about nothing." The board meets again on July 7th at 9 a.m. in Canton.

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