Grants in jeopardy over delayed court reports

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Troup County is in danger of losing grant funding due to the state and superior court clerk’s office being out of compliance with financial reporting.

Jackie Neubert, the Deputy Director of the Nonprofit and Local Government Audit Section of the Financial Audits Division of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, confirmed that Troup County Superior and State Court are out of compliance due to their failure to submit required audits.

The audit would simply say whether the county is in compliance with submitting required reports, Neubert said.

According to data from the Georgia Superior Court Clerk’s Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA), many Georgia counties are out of compliance due to having not submitted Judicial Operations Funds Fee reports from November, which were due at the end of December. However, Troup County has not submitted monthly reports dating back to June.

Neubert said that Troup County had asked for an extension to turn in the audit, but the Department of Audits and Accounts is not able to add extensions beyond two consecutive fiscal years.

“They were either late or they asked for extensions in the other two, so this would be the third we were not eligible to [give],” Neubert said.

Neubert indicated that they were told via phone that they were trying to work on the reports and had some holdups but would hopefully have them soon.

Being found in noncompliance can prevent the county from being able to receive state grants, Neubert said.

Neubert said the county needs to submit the audits to get back into compliance, which were due Dec. 31.

Ultimately, it’s up to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to determine if the county can still receive grant funding.

According to Justin Wesley, Accounting Tech at GSCCCA, fines are also possible due to missed reporting deadlines, which he said would be up to Coweta Court Circuit Chief Judge John Simpson.

The LaGrange Daily News reached out to Clerk of Court Jackie Taylor for comment but calls were not immediately returned.