July 1, 2015

Queen Degges

Why isn’t the audit for the year ended 6/30/14 done yet? Ask Karen Degges, then ask again a month or two later and you’ll get different answers. Her main job is to make excuses and cast blame on anyone but herself. She is a master manipulator of the truth and the facts.

Despite the fact that the citizens and BOC have been told repeatedly that the audit would be ready by 6/30/15 (6 months past the due date), Karen Degges has now informed us all in an email to former Comm. Cox, that it won’t be ready until August 3, 2015.

On June 29, 2015, at 8:47 AM, Karen Degges <kdegges@jaspercountyga.org> wrote:

Alan, the audit has been held up for the past month waiting on a completed audit from one of our component units (that uses a different auditor from the County).  Ours can’t be closed until we have that, or else we would have to deal with significant repercussions.  We had to initially request an extension due to the mess the books were left in by an employee who was completely in over her head and lacked the experience and education necessary for such complex work.  For that matter, Mike Benton has cleaned up accounting errors going back to 2010 in an effort to finally get the County’s financial house in order and keep it that way.  Almost everything is not as it is portrayed by the TWG or just the regular old rumor mill.  The audit is scheduled to be presented to the Board and citizens on the August 3rd BOC meeting.  I invite you all to attend.


Let’s look at these assertions by Karen Degges.

  • Now, after all this time (over a year) the county is waiting on an audit from a component unit? Really? Which component unit is that? It is not economic development, nor 911, nor JCWSA. Of course Degges never says which one, she just throws out blame and excuses. And up until this email she wrote on 6/29/15, this excuse was never mentioned by Benton or Degges when asked when the audit would be ready. 
  • The books were left in a mess by an employee—an employee that was under the direction of “Financial Director” Karen Degges. An employee that worked in the Newton County finance department with no problems. The real problem is folks, Karen Degges is in over her head and has no clue what is going on with the bookkeeping or finances. 
  • Mike Benton is such an expert that he has gone back to 2010 and cleaned up accounting errors? Really? You mean the auditor left accounting errors when the audit was done, submitted, and accepted by the State? Really hard to believe that one, Karen.  Maybe Mr. Benton ought to get busy on the present set of books instead of worrying about books that have already been audited. 

Karen Degges’ also now takes credit for finding the evidence and calling in the GBI on Sherry Braley.

On June 29, 2015, at 8:47 AM, Karen Degges <kdegges@jaspercountyga.org> wrote:

By the way, I contacted the Sheriff and asked him to call in the GBI the minute I felt we had enough evidence to prove our case.  We are documenting everything so that we can file a claim with the bonding company, and get any missing funds back for the County.

We don’t buy a word of it!! If Karen Degges was gathering evidence on Sherry Braley, and the dates were from March 2013 through June 2015, why did she give Sherry Braley two back-to-back raises and put her over Animal Control in December 2014? (See Animal Control Money Seems to be Missing)

Karen Degges awarded Sherry Braley $2.83 an hour in pay raises in a 3 month period from September 2014 to December 2014 and put her over Animal Control where she had access to cash money. If Karen Degges was the Forensic Accountant she has said she is, it wouldn’t take 2 years to find these discrepancies. Additionally, each time something came up about Ms. Braley not being at work, not returning calls, not enforcing the codes, Karen Degges was the first to defend and commend Sherry Braley. Yep, folks, this is the County Manager that all of a sudden has enough evidence to do something about missing money!



Karen Degges always has to have someone to blame because she and her Board of Commissioners is the best ever. If it’s not so, then the Master Manipulator just makes up stuff to make it so.

In another email to former Comm. Cox:

From: Karen Degges [mailto:kdegges@jaspercountyga.org]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 12:02 PM
To: ‘Alan Cox’;
Cc: ‘Doug Luke’; ‘Carl Pennamon’; ‘Gene Trammel’; ‘Bruce Henry’; ‘Craig Salmon’
Subject: RE: Jasper County

 Alan, I am not trying to throw you under the bus by any means, but there is much more to every story than you are getting through the TWG.  Newton County had two open audits they couldn’t close (and they were going into their 3rd audit year), because their books were a train wreck.  Jasper County hired their top two finance people, their Finance Director and their Staff Accountant.  Newton County brought in new people and now they are back where they should be

 Any bets the BOC didn’t take time to verify any of this malarkey the Master Manipulator put out in these 2 emails? Of course not! For 2 years Karen Degges has led this BOC around like little dogs on a leash. They never question her, or make her verify anything she tells them. They just look incompetent and foolish.

Board of Confusion 2

So, when Jasper County hired Lorri Smith, Newton County supposedly had two open audits and they were going into the third audit year. Don’t you know the Newton County BOC would love to know all about that because it would be news to them.   When Ms. Smith was hired by Jasper County, Newton County offered her many more thousand dollars to stay on. Ms. Smith was the financial manager in Newton County from September 2003 to September 2010, when she was hired by Jasper County.

Additionally, Jasper County had never had an award for financial excellence until Lorri Smith was in charge of the finances, and most assuredly Jasper County won’t be getting one for FY14.

Jasper County has just gone through its second budget process without an audit available from the first full year this BOC was in charge of the budget—7/1/13 to 6/30/14. So far there’s money missing, a GBI investigation, an employee arrested, numerous errors that have had to be corrected with numerous budget amendments, and more delays. Karen Degges was the financial director for the county and supervisor of Sherry Braley all during this time. IT IS TIME FOR KAREN DEGGES TO GO!!!

Take ActionTake Action


Citizens, we are asking you to show up at the July 6, 2015 BOC meeting at 6:00PM and become the Vocal Majority. Karen Degges needs to be terminated! Enough is enough!  It is time the Jasper County BOC acts to bring some respect back for the truth in Jasper County instead of the continued manipulation of the facts.




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  1. Tell us the truth says:

    “The books were left in a mess by an employee who was completely in over her head and lacked the experience and education necessary for such complex work.” Is Ms. Degges talking about herself?

    I recall employees being fired for insubordination, but never for job performance issues.

    Ms. Degges and the BOC have a communication problem. By not telling the public what is going on, it leaves a lot of room for skepticism. One cogitates why things have never been mentioned before an issue becomes public.

  2. Drsaid says:

    Sad our elected leaders are so arrogant and prideful, they will not listen to anyone nor can they see that Karen Deggs is out of control.
    With Sherri Bralley the signs were oh so obvious just as they are with Karen Deggs.
    Absenteeism, TARDINESS
    Erratic work patterns ,MOOD SWINGS
    Unexplained disapperances, LYING and more LYING
    Will the GBI have to be called in again??

  3. gary says:

    Every since degges came on board the county offices have been in shambles.
    Leadership to be effective has to lead by example. So karen if your reading this(which I doubt because we the tax payers are just dumb techers) then I ask wheres the audit.
    To my fellow citizens we must unite together to force the boc to terminate this rude and oppresive manipulater from our hard earned payroll.
    It is our tax money not deggess sand box.
    One question I have. How come brahley wasnt found out about sooner. The purpose of audited financial reports are as safegaurds to sniff out dithering and corruption.
    Without those reports how can we even project a new budget?
    Send degges back to baldwin. Better yet look up her career on the web you will be amazed that she even has a job and is not in jail with brahley.

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