AG asked to weigh in on removal of audit overseer
By JIM WALLS
Jan. 7, 2016 — DeKalb County legislators got an earful tonight about the removal of a member of the panel that will select the county’s new auditor.
Former county employee Harmel Codi, named to a five-member Audit Oversight Committee, was removed last week by Sen. Gloria Butler, citing concerns about Codi’s priorities. The panel is a key component in restoring public confidence after years of headlines about corruption that sent two of the county’s top elected officials to prison.
At least a half-dozen speakers complained to DeKalb’s legislative delegation tonight that Codi’s ouster smacks of political interference that threatens the panel’s integrity. Codi, who says interim DeKalb CEO Lee May brushed off her concerns about a contract awarded to a politically connected vendor, has called on May to resign.
Butler wasn’t present at tonight’s meeting, which was held so constituents could share their thoughts on the upcoming legislative session. Other senators, though, said Butler didn’t consult them before rescinding Codi’s appointment.
Sen. Elena Parent, who pushed the bill creating the panel, t6old the audience she has asked Attorney General Sam Olens for an opinion on whether Butler had the authority to remove Codi. The delegation’s newest member, Sen. JaNice VanNess, is also reportedly asking Olens whether the action was legal.