August 18, 2014
Definition of Scapegoat: [skeyp-goht]
- a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place
- Chiefly a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26. Karen Degges was hired as County Manager on June 20, 2013. The fiscal year ended on June 30, 2013. Lorri Smith, the County Manager when Karen Degges was hired, stayed on the payroll as a consultant for the next month. Lorri was kept on the payroll to help with the audit and a few other things, but was told by Ms. Degges that her services were no longer needed. Then for the next year Ms. Degges made Lorri Smith her scapegoat and blamed every possible thing on her. Anything Karen Degges didn’t understand, the way the budget was done, any policy she didn’t like, and anything that went wrong has been blamed on Lorri Smith by Ms. Degges. We have heard it in BOC meetings and sources have told us the same thing has happened in department head meetings.
Even though Lorri Smith was talked about as if she didn’t do anything right, it didn’t keep Karen Degges from accepting the Financial Achievement Award earned by Lorri Smith for the year ending 6/30/13. Ms. Degges was only hired for a few days of that fiscal year, but since she was the County Manager as of 6/30/13, she was given the award that Lorri Smith did all the work to earn. (See Copy of award letter here). Notice in the letter that Ms. Degges’ title is County Manager/Finance Director–the reason she got the award.
Now that Ms. Smith has been gone for more than a year, it is going to be hard to keep blaming her when things go wrong. Someone else has to be the scapegoat. As soon as the budget work was all done in June this year, an ad was put in the paper for a financial director. TWG put out a blog about it you can read here: https://taxdogs.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/the-county-needs-an-additional-finance-director-position/
After a recent BOC meeting Comm. Trammell said that there would be no new Finance Director, but instead an employee would be replaced. He repeated some things that obviously Ms. Degges had told him. You see folks, Karen Degges will need to have someone to blame for things, so why not get rid of another employee and then blame everything on her when there are audit findings or budget problems in the coming year?
Mike Benton, former CFO and member of the board of directors of Angel Food Ministries, has applied for the county Finance Director job, and rumors are that Ms. Degges wants to hire him. Cissy Benton, his wife, has just resigned as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. Her salary was paid with the money the BOC recently started budgeting to give the Chamber.
We will soon see who the next Finance Director is (even though this is part of Karen Degges’ duties now) and how long it will take for someone else to become the next scapegoat.
Video of FINANCIAL REPORTING ACHIEVEMENT—CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
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