Jan. 16, 2013 — “No funds have been taken from the state, but the county did take money from an account that is restricted,” Flannery said. “Even if there is no legal wrongdoing here, I think it is highly inappropriate to use restricted child support accounts to pay attorney bills. Even if they are mad at me, they shouldn’t do that.”
Flannery said he believed there was no confusion as to the accounts the money came from, rather it was intentionally taken as retaliation for his suing the county for an alleged open-meetings violation during its May 29 meeting.
“When I talked to the county treasurer about it, she explained how the bills were handled,” Flannery said. “I think it would be hard to confuse the account numbers.”
Flannery said he can no longer trust the county to take care of payroll for child support and will, beginning this month, start handling it within his own office.
When asked about the payments, Wallace said the payment from the child support account was a mistake that would be corrected at the next meeting. Wallace also confirmed the county no longer handled child support payroll. He could not, however, definitively say when the county had relinquished the responsibility. During the conversation, Wallace claimed it had be more than “a year or so,” “six to eight months” and “several months” since the county had done child support payroll.
Flannery said he was unaware any payments had been made to outside legal counsel before the Journal-Times brought it to his attention.
Each member of the fiscal court is presented with a treasurer’s report during regular monthly meetings. After evaluating those given to Flannery and those given to the magistrates, it was discovered the two reports were different.
“It raises a lot of questions. It is more work to make a second book than it is to print off another copy of the same book,” Flannery said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep vital information from the county attorney.”
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at (606) 474-5101.