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Race for clerk puts child support issue up front

7/16/2012

By LOUIE BROGDON
The Brunswick News

Opponents of incumbent Glynn County Superior Court Clerk Lola Jamsky have criticized her for paying more money out of her office's Child Support Receiver account than collected, and Glynn County Finance Department audits support those claims.

Jamsky says she was never made aware of the issues.

Whatever the case, the oversight does not involve a lot of money.

The Child Support Receiver account, which is used to collect child support payments and pay parents and guardians who are owed money, has not been more than $35 in the red any given year since 2007, but it has reported negative book balances.

Auditors, who conduct annual, state required audits of all Glynn County departments, have continually noted the issue, according to the audit reports.

In 2007, the clerk collected $3,006,911, but paid $3,006,914, creating a $3 loss. Losses increased by $26 in 2008, $16 in 2009 and $35 in 2010.

It was not until 2011 that the clerk's office collected $5 more than it paid, but that still left $75 in losses overall.

Jamsky's opponents, Donita Taylor, clerk of Glynn County Juvenile Court, and Timothy Wilson, have raised the issue during public candidate forums this past week. Both said a better system for keeping track of collections and payouts is needed.

Taylor said Friday the sum is not the important issue, it's the flawed process.

Taylor said the losses are happening when Jamsky's office pays child support to parents before the other parent's checks clear the bank.

"And it still happens. The day that check comes in is the day the money gets mailed out. It's elementary accounting. You never pay anything out until the checks clear," Taylor said. "I know she's trying to get money to the parents, but the county is not in the business of paying child support."

Jamsky said Friday she had not been aware of the losses until her opponents brought it up at the political forums.

"I don't know a thing about that. I haven't seen a thing about it," Jamsky said.

Audit reports from 2007-2010 note that Jamsky was notified and that she told auditors she would take steps to fix the problems, but Jamsky denied having anything to do with the audits.

"That's not happening. I have not talked with the auditors in years," Jamsky said.

Glynn County Finance Director Phyllis McNicoll said she did not want to enter a political debate, but she did say Jamsky has been notified about the issue.

Auditors from Karp, Ronning & Tindol, the independent Savannah firm which conducts the audits, did not return a phone call Friday.

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