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Chairman: Audit not evidence of fraud
The chairman of the Glynn County Commission says her request for an audit of airport commission expenditures last month was a mere formality.

No one should try to read anything into it, Mary Hunt said.

"Glynn County has never made any allegations that there was fraud at the Airport Commission," Hunt wrote Oct. 10 to Mel Baxter, chairman for the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, the body with direct oversight over the airport commission.

Her goal, she said, was to introduce the new executive director of the airport commission, Robert Burr, to the operations of the agency.

Burr started his position with the airport commission Oct. 1.

Hunt's proposed $55,000-focused audit of the airport commission's financial policies, bank accounts, capital assets, fund equity classifications, revenues, expenditures and deferred lease revenue failed to win a supermajority of the county commission Sept. 19 by one vote.

"This is just one of those normal procedures that someone would do when someone new of that much importance comes in," she said.

The development authority board voted to go ahead and conduct an expanded audit Sept. 23, using the services of the airport commission's firm, Coastal CPAs, for an additional $10,000.

The airport commission followed suit to approve an expanded audit at a called meeting Sept. 25.

Both entities had sent a letter to Hunt on Oct. 2 requesting additional information from the county, including whether the expanded audit covered all the county's concerns, where the request for the focused audit originated and whether there were any accusations of fraud.

Baxter said the move to perform an expanded audit after the county commission had turned down its own proposal was an effort to clear any concerns about the airport commission's actions.

"We will move forward," Baxter said.

Baxter said Coastal CPAs will address the points made in Hunt's original audit proposal, in addition to the standard audit of the airport commission's finances from the 2013 fiscal year.

Airport Commission Chairman Bill Brunson said he is confident the expanded audit will come back with the same results as those of the past several years -- "absolutely unqualified," he said, "and squeaky clean."

* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at kquimby@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.SClB



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