State chief examiner to reconsider audit

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama's chief examiner of public accounts said Monday he will reconsider a request to audit Jefferson County's finances.

Ron Jones, chief examiner of the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, told FOX6 News reporter Alan Collins Monday morning he would reconsider a request by the county, state Sen. Jabo Waggoner, and Gov. Bob Riley to audit Jefferson County.

Earlier this year, Jones denied an audit request by Jefferson County due to proration, expenses and limited resources.  Jones said Monday morning he will look again at his resources, but said an audit of Jefferson County would be an expensive undertaking.

Last week, Riley sent Jones a letter asking for the audit.  In the letter, Riley said an audit would help Jefferson County determine its financial status.

The county lost millions of dollars of revenue earlier this year when a judge declared the county's occupational tax unconstitutional. More than 1,000 county employees were placed on administrative leave  without pay in August as part of the county's efforts to balance its budget without the tax revenue.

Employees placed on leave were originally told they could return to work on Monday, September 14.  However, Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said last week it could be October before the county has enough money to bring the workers back.