This is a press release from Camden County government.
Less than 12 months after fraud was discovered at the Camden County Public Service Authority (PSA), the Camden County Board of Commissioners has recovered a substantial portion of taxpayer money lost by making a claim for its crime fidelity insurance policy coverage.
Crime fidelity insurance coverage is a best practice instituted by the Camden County Board of Commissioners in June 2015 to protect against employee theft, fraud, unauthorized wire transfers, and other crimes against county taxpayers. The County’s insurance provider, Travelers Insurance, has agreed to cover the maximum allowable loss of $1 million under the policy. The PSA is covered by this policy which is paid for through a shared funds arrangement between Camden County and the PSA.
“Credit for this recovery goes to Camden County’s Director of Risk Management and Interim Senior Director of Human Resources Mike Spiers, Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nancy Gonzalez, and County Attorney John Myers. Nancy also served as Interim Finance Director at the PSA working closely with the accounting firm Clifton, Lipford, Hardison, and Parker, LLC during the forensic audit phase,” said County Administrator, Steve Howard. “Receiving this insurance settlement in less than a year is a significant accomplishment. It is a testament to the hard work and tenacity of Mike, Nancy, and John, to ensure taxpayers were protected in the aftermath of this unfortunate situation,” added Howard.
The cities of Kingsland and St. Marys, along with Camden County will be reimbursed for the funds they provided to keep the PSA solvent immediately after the discovery of apparent theft. Funds remaining after reimbursing the two cities and County will be set aside for payment of payroll taxes allegedly owed to the Internal Revenue Service and to ensure all remaining SPLOST VII PSA project funds are properly accounted for. PSA officials are still waiting on finalized audits for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 and are in negotiations with IRS on the exact amount owed to settle those remaining debts.
The PSA has made tremendous strides under the direction of new Executive Director Joey Cason and Senior Accountant Tara Ealy, CPA. The PSA Board and new management team have already implemented by-law changes and intergovernmental agreements with Camden County and the Cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine that will allow for greater transparency and accountability in all future activities.