Commission rejects forensic audit of city departments


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It started with questions about the charges on Mayor Davis’ credit card but commissioners John Clarke and Catherine Smith McKnight pushed to see a forensic audit of all city departments. 

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“I think it’s time to undergo a review of its finances if we’re going to do one department do all of the departments,” said Commissioner Clarke.  

“I think there’s a need for it most definitely a need for it and I’m not saying just the mayor’s office look into all departments,” said Commissioner McKnight.

Before the vote, administrator Odie Donald explained forensic audits are used to look into allegations of things like theft and embezzlement. This was a road a majority of commissioners are not ready to go down. 

“I don’t like term forensic audit unless you know or pretty well expect that somebody has done something that they shouldn’t have done. It’s like you’re digging for something, you don’t know what’s there. If they find something, you jump up and down,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

In the end, city leaders rejected the idea of conducting a forensic audit, of all city departments, not a surprise to its supporters.

“Nobody wants to look under rocks and find correct answers. Whenever you say forensic audit, it gives the reference you’re looking for wrongdoing, but forensic audit can also work in reverse it can also prove innocence,” said Commissioner Clarke.

A motion to audit the mayor’s credit cards also failed, but Mayor Davis has said he wants city auditors to look at those charges.

Commissioners moved to speak next month about a request from Gold Cross for a $600 increase in ambulance rates.

They also deleted discussion of Southbound smokehouse, this after the business was cited for serving alcohol to minors and operating a dance hall without a license. The business has surrendered its licenses to the City and is now closed. 

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