Tyrone Clerk Finally Fired

During investigation of their million $ deficit last night, Council went into Executive Session and fired long time Clerk and keeper of the records Valerie Fowler Caldwell. The dismissal took the small audience by surprise as no Executive Session was on the Agenda. But to some in attendance it was years overdue.

The end for Valerie came shortly after a discussion of $36,000 of unbudgeted town funds that were withdrawn two days after last November’s election.

As the Council probed for answers, it was obvious that they didn’t understand some town policies. Then it was revealed that in 1997 management had set up an unknown set of policy procedures involving over-time, comp-time and vacation pay for employees.

In answering Council’s questions Valerie said that two employees had cashed in various accrued vacation, etc. pay, that accounted for $36,000 as a matter of “policy”.

After trying to understand the secret “policy”, Council asked Valerie who were the two employees? Evading the question Valerie said, “one is no longer employed”. Pushing hard to get a clear answer, Council asked her the name of that employee. She answered Barry Amos withdrew $22,000. A long silence followed, then Council asked who is the still employed person that withdrew the other $14,000. With the audience on the edge of their seats, Valerie finally answered, “IT WAS ME”. Shock came over the citizens as the Council continued to question Valerie if she authorized these withdrawals, but all they could get out of her was that she just followed “policy”.

Shortly thereafter, Council abruptly took Valerie into Executive Session and returned passing a unanimous motion to dismiss her.

There’s a lot more to this story which will be coming out later.

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Submitted by Shaquita on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 9:31pm.

It is amusing how easily distracted some people can be. The Town went into the first of 2008 with a balanced budget and money in the bank (over a million I have heard). Now that the new group has been in office for 6 months the Town is suddenly over $1,000,000 in the red! I agree that there needs to be an accounting (isn’t that one of this groups campaign promises?) The new council under Grace Caldwell’s direction is going to have to raise taxes but they need a diversion so the taxpayers won’t notice. Look at the timing for the firing of Valerie, why else did they keep her around for 6 months? If you think finding out information was difficult from the old group, just ask this group how much money they have spent so far since January and on what especially on attorney and consulting fees. Lets get back to what part of this group promised “accountability” but don’t be too quick to give Grace or Gloria any credit for doing “the right thing”; remember for two years they were part of the old council which included reviewing budgets, expenditures and voting to approve them-claiming ignorance is not an option.

Submitted by itsme on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 10:42pm.

Okay so they got rid of Valerie we all knew it was coming it was just when. Now we have a good staff there the rest of the people in that office have never been anything but nice and helpful. I have witnesses them going out of their way to help with items like getting a phone number or a website address for a person when the resident was to lazy to do it themselves. They are not the information service. We need to let them know that we want them there. With what went on at the meeting don't you think that they are worried as to who is next on the chopping block. As far as they knew this is how things were suppose to be done. Lets stop dwelling on the past and stop in to Town Hall and say Thank You to Dee, Beth and Dina. I hope the new bosses and Council knows what they have there.

Submitted by too bad on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 4:57am.

Dee is very nice, but I dissaggree with your assesment that the public is too lazy to look up web sites. When I'm at work if a customer asked a question, my job is to find the answer.

The only people who should be scared are the ones with an abundance of overtime in this little poor town.

I don't think anyone thought this was the way things were suppose to be done. Everyone knew something was very wrong.

Submitted by rm.snell on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 10:24pm.

It never ceases to amaze me that the council fires prior to a investigation or when it calls for an investigation it never happens. Where is the forensic audit they asked for? What ever happened to that money should have appeared during the investigation instead of 6 months later. People in Tyrone need to question the leadership abilities and decision making with the town government. Many of the exhisting problems have occured during Grace and Gloria's reign and yet their cheerleaders still ignore that fact. If Valerie was wrong than she was wrong but, I say prove it to me. Sorry but I have seen many shady and underhanded things done in during the Grace and Gloria show. The money has been flying out the window in the last six month with the hiring of expensive lawyers and town managers. Personally I do not feel that the money has not been well spent. Nuk has made some good points. People need to know all of the facts before making the wrong judgement on someone who may be guilty of nothing.

Submitted by HankyPanky on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 10:11am.

Citizens ARE questioning the town leaders trying to get all the facts. But as always, secrecy abounds. Tell us who approved the employee policy manual, and what does it say about the authority to write checks. Tell us about this check writing service that no one knew about and has zero oversight. Secrecy creates suspicion. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 5:24am.

I agree with people need to know all the facts before making judgements. But 100% Tyrone paid health care is a fact. Who did this?

Grace and Gloria were lame ducks on your watch. Now, sadly, I'm hearing that new council people don't want to cut jobs or saleries because they are playing with people's lives. The only alternative is to raise our taxes and you will see a revolt like you've never seen before. Lastly, most of us feel this has come to light cause the economy has gone south and all of a sudden, someone is trying to account for the funds. In good years and the checks going out to be written by an outside company, this could have gone on for a lot longer.

Again, we need to see an accounting of what each person's salary was suppose to be and then what their W2 says.

Submitted by outcry30290 on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 1:48pm.

Valerie also said that she was given authorization from Sheryl Lee and that it had been approved. But earlier in the meeting she stated that it didn't need approval. She couldn't talk her way out of this one. Did she or Barry offer any of those other city employees the opportunity to cash out their leave? Or did they just take it upon themselves to take care of each other? You are right, this needs to be investigated. It should start with Sheryl Lee if indeed she approved the payout to Valerie of $14,000 and $22,000 to Amos. No wonder the Town needs money.

Submitted by freedomofinfo on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 10:04am.

For over 1 year, I and others have been stating on this blog that there was a RAT IN THE TYRONE TOWN BUDGET - this is "IN MY OPINION" - there has been a problem with the financial accounting - I have said it before - there was probably someone MISAPPROPRIATING the money from Tyrone's piggy bank - NOW WE HAVE THE PROOF!! BARRY & VALERIE!! I think the town of Tyrone should criminally prosecute Barry & Valerie for this act. DOES THE POLICY REALLY EXIST? DID THE OLD COUNCIL PASS THE POLICY?

Where are you Shaquita, rm snell & the rest of you defenders of Valerie???????

What credible witnesses Barry and Valerie will make on the witness stand!! They will be eaten alive in court and Tyrone will pay the price again!!

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 7:45pm.

It looks like we had a few hogs at the trouff that may have cost some jobs and the taxpayers money they don't have....What say you Saquita, rm Snell? What have you got to say about this? I think 14000,00 is a lot for vacation time? Don't you? That is almost 1/2 of some employees salary? What is your take on this..was this on your watch?

Voice of Fayette Future's picture
Submitted by Voice of Fayett... on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 3:11pm.

I agree Freedom--- this stinks....How did no one at Town Hall see this for the past 8 months. But watch what will happen. Grace will wink and Overbill McNally and Dennis the Menace will turn in hourly billings that will make Barry's post-election cash-in look like chump change. And when it is all said and done they will just say "We are proud to have revised Town Policy."

Submitted by head_ragg on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 11:25pm.

You called it. If this had been the loto, you would be rich

Submitted by Missy-Sippy on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 12:58pm.

I knew something was rotten in the land of cotten, when I first met Valerie, and I hope all this stink is never forgotten.

What we further need to know is:

1. Who made up the policy manual.
2. What does it say.
3. Does it really exist.
4. Did the past council know about it.
5. Who approved it.
6. What other money has been taken.
7. Is this criminal.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 9:09pm.

People of Tyrone don't stop here! I know Gloria and Grace have to be tired, but this has been a fight for years. We live in a small town of 5700 people. We are common people with average and below average incomes. A good portion...do not have any kind of health care insurance at all.

We have tried for years to find out where the money was going. We have been to budget meetings where police salaries were lumped together, people who worked at town hall were lumped together and we couldn't get a handle on it. The old shell game. We have nothing like Peach tree City, yet our taxes are higher.

Now things are coming out

..100% taxpayer paid health care.
A lot of overtime.
People using their sick leave for vacation
then being paid 14,000.00 for unused vacation!
Something is wrong here,

My money never grew on a tree, I doubt yours did either.

Now that Grace and Gloria popped the zit, let's don't put makeup on it. Lets have a look see at what has been going on here.

We need to see all the details of the damage before we can go forward.

If people lost their jobs. Don't blame Gloria and Grace, you would all have lost your jobs if this had continued.

Look at who is truly to blame.

The 5-0's picture
Submitted by The 5-0 on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 4:33pm.

Oldbeachbear stated "We are common people with average and below average incomes. A good portion...do not have any kind of health care insurance at all."

The facts paint a different picture:

The estimated Tyrone median household income in 2005: $67,700
The estimated Georgia median household income in 2005: $45,604

Residents with income below the poverty level in 1999:
This town: 0.9%
Whole state: 13.0%

Residents with income below 50% of the poverty level in 1999:
This town: 0.6%
Whole state: 6.1%


I just wanted to clarify that so people didn't think Tyrone was some sort of ghetto.

Submitted by Spot on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 9:09pm.

I agree with you "The 5-0". Don't you agree that Old Beach Bear and Too Bad are possibly one-in-the-same person? Their personalities must really conflict with one another. Never, never, never happy! Always, always, always griping about something! Thanks for setting the story straight 5-0! Don't you wonder why someone that is so miserable continues to live in this "poor" little town? She never answered the questions posed about why she hates everyone in town especially the police officers? If her life were ever dependent upon help from these men/women in blue, her tune would change - maybe. Then again, she lives such a miserable way of life that she may not be thankful.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 8:02am.

You give merit to the statement the police are overstaffed with your constant blogging.

"If her life were ever dependent upon help from these men/women in blue, her tune would change - maybe. Then again, she lives such a miserable way of life that she may not be thankful"

It would be a cold day indeed before I would seek your overpriced, unqualified help. Besides, I'm sure you would either ticket me for your assistance or send me a bill. There is a perfectly good Sherrif's department that I would call instead.

Submitted by head_ragg on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 3:21am.

Some of us may have brought your tax base up, but you are not entitled to squander it. We are not paying higher taxes to support the likes of you. You need to quit blogging and fight crime.

Chief Perkins
Ive heard that the police officers are supporting the new police chief here in Tyrone. Im glad he has their support.

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I See Spots....
Submitted by whodat-is on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 9:57pm.
You should really stop posting. Can you post more than two sentences at any given time?

The citizens are angry because of the way Smola, Letourneau, and Lee made the decision in one night. Not to mention they did it without advertising the position.
Wrong Spot
Submitted by tyronesleezeball on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 7:17am.
You are being very naïve Spot. The officers don’t have a choice but support whoever is selected by the chosen ones to be Chief. Right now, the power lies in the hands of Amos, Lee, Letourneau and Smola. Those officers are smart enough to know that if they bucked them then Amos would fire them. That’s him MO. Perkins can’t be stupid enough to think that everyone in the police department and town are happy about the way this was done. Everyone knows that it only took him sucking up to Amos and Lee to get the job. That can’t weigh very well on his conscious. Perkins knows that he has to allow Amos to run the department now or he will be out just like Mullis. So, you wanted it Perkins, just know that we all know who will run the department for you. Brock was treated unfairly in all of this. I hope that he will be able to get some type of retaliation out of all this. As usual this doesn’t look good for our small town Tyrone

Concerned Citizen, you missed the point. The issue is not whether Mr. Perkins will make a good Tyrone Police Chief. He may be the very best choice. The issue is, there was no choice. No advertising for the position. No public discussion, no due process, citizens in the dark, secret government. Amos, Fowler, Lee, Smola & Letourneau got together and decided who they wanted for Chief and put it to a vote in a secret "executive session" as "personnel" on the Agenda. The Councilwomen were not informed and were blindsided with the old 3-2 vote. The only ways to stop this chicanery is by a State investigation, a lawsuit or elect a new responsible Council. Right now Grace Caldwell & Gloria Furr should ask the Governor and the Fayette District Attorney for an investigation of Tyrone's government practices. Ronnie Chance could be of great help here if he really wants to represent the people.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 6:57pm.

Your median income was under $30,000 before the new folks moved in. I think it was 1987 when you pushed back against the Wieland proposal and the median income then was about $27,500. Then Wieland won and so did you now that you have a better and more upscale class of people moving into the McMansions that increase your median income and spending power. The new folks are the only reason you have all that great commercial stuff on your highway. I for one love driving by it.

Submitted by head_ragg on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 3:24am.

for their tax base. We aren't paying more

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 1:33pm.

I have no horse in the race at all and don't really care about what happens in Tyrone.

But this does present an interesting question. In a legal sense, how can an administrative policy be instituted which governs the dispersal of publically-generated funds without approval by and oversight of the city's elected political body? This may not be the case here but it appears to me that an administrative policy was created without the approval of elected officials and that this policy allows the dispersal of public moneys for various things including overtime and comp-time. Wouldn't budgetary authorization be required? Or at least authorization by the city council for an exigent, one-time balloon payout?

If the Tyrone officials do not request an investigation by an outside entity, something will be very suspicious here.

Submitted by Margot on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 8:39pm.

What outside Investigative Agency would you suggest. Given that the Town Officials won't do anything.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 8:53pm.

I'm sure there is probably a record of some kind of policy/ordinance that some clowns that were on Council at some point approved. I don't think Barry and Valerie are so stupid that they would think they could simply pay themselves 36K illegally and no one would ever know. Arrogant and incompetent? Yes. Embezzlers? I highly doubt that. I mean, there was a forensic audit ordered so this was going to come out sooner or later, but it's kind of scary it took about 6months with the present councilfools to figure this out.

The council could always request the GBI or the state DA's office to investigate, but maybe they had better first look and see if this investigation would be about something a previous council actually approved as being completely OK. There has to be a policy or ordinance on this. Next, they need to change their internal financial policies to where no employee can issue themselves a 22K check and another a 14K check while no one on Council knows anything about it for 6 months. Amazing.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 4:11am.

If the old council or mayor oked a policy that employees can issue themselves 22k checks, we the taxpayers should know about it.

If the employees got to write the employee handbook, we really need to know about it!

There should be a investigation by the DA. There is no question that it is owed to the public.

To clear the air. the agreed salary of each employee should be made public, along with what was the final figure on the employees W2. It may turn out that this wild overtime was rampant. If so, they all need to go.

The normal salary for a ...clerk...is $10.00 to $11.00 an hour. How did we wind up with clerks with base salaries of $60,000.00 and then even larger W2? As I said, this needs to be made public, otherwise, larger amounts of overtime will keep creeping through till it is stopped.

I am very disappointed to hear the remark was made by a council member that they didn't want to cut salaries/jobs, that people's lives were being played with. I would like to remind that council member, my life and that of all the taxpayers, are being played with. There is no reason in this world not to cut jobs and salaries when they are out of hand.

Now the issue of 100% paid health care. That is total BS! Tyrone is a poor area, many of the taxpayers don't have insurance. How can you ask them to pay 100 percent for employees when they don't have it themselves? The ones that do, have to pay at least 50% of their premiums for themselves and their families. The Federal government has one of the most generous, you can go on line and google FERS and see it. THEY DO NOT PAY 100%! You can go further and look at the state of Ga. web site. They don't pay it either! All this is public and at your finger tips. Why when you say you don't want to play with peoples lives do you not avail yourself of this info first?

I worked for many years and can tell you, the more money a company pays toward the health care, the more abuse it draws. I've seen employees when it cost them very little do go to the MD, STAY in the MD's office. They trumped up all kinds of illness. Then guess what, they don't come to work. They are forever taking off to go the the MD cause they can afford it. Then when they don't come to work, or want to decide they need to be out on company sick leave, they do it, no questions asked.

In all this, the employee's sick leave issue has never been scrached. I'm afraid to hear the details of that one. This whole thing is disgusting. It sounds like the Tyrone taxpayers have been ripped off.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 4:39pm.

Come on, old bear, show some common sense! The word "clerk" is an ancient term which has since been replaced with the word "administrator," except in government where it has been retained as a matter of tradition. The "clerk of court" is the top administrator in a court system, and the position of "city clerk" can be a high-level position, with a salary to match. In Massachusetts, the position of corporate secretary (the official in a corporation in charge of all the company's records) is still called "clerk." Tyrone is a municipal corporation, though I concede it's fairly small and it should not pay wages out of proportion with its personnel's responsibilities.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 6:26pm.

There is no company that I've ever seen where the VIPs sec is called the clerk...Even here, they would smack you up side the head.

A clerk is not a 60,000 or 75,0000....BASE...for a 5700 citizen town. Get over yourself.

I hope they clean the whole lot of overtime, vacation time gurus out in Tyrone, if they don't, there will be hell to pay by the taxpayers.

Grace and Gloria started digging....This is not time for anyone to play favorites.

In any company...if jobs need to be cut...they don't say....I can't ....my kids play with their kids....that is very hard for taxpayers to swallow....not only does it make you wonder how these people got these jobs...but why the salaries?

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 3:41pm.

Here's the Massachusetts law providing for a "clerk" among the top officers of a corporation.

G.L. c.156B, §48 Election or appointment of officers; qualifications; bonds; records of proceedings

Section 48. The officers of every corporation shall consist of a president, a treasurer and a clerk and such other officers as the corporation by its by-laws shall authorize. Except as otherwise provided in the by-laws, the treasurer and the clerk shall be elected at the annual meeting of the stockholders by such stockholders as have the right to vote thereon, and the president shall be elected by the directors at their first meeting following the annual meeting of the stockholders. All other officers and agents shall be chosen or appointed in the manner provided in the by-laws or, in the absence of such provision, as may be determined by the directors. Any elections of officers by stockholders shall be by ballot if so requested by any stockholder entitled to vote thereon. Unless otherwise provided in the by-laws, the president shall be a director. Unless required by the by-laws, no officer need be a stockholder. The clerk shall be a resident of the commonwealth unless the corporation shall have a resident agent appointed pursuant to section forty-nine. Any officer may be required to give a bond for the faithful performance of his duties in such form and with such sureties as the by-laws may prescribe or as the directors may determine. The clerk or an assistant clerk shall record all proceedings of the stockholders in a book to be kept therefor and, unless another officer is designated in the by-laws, shall also record all proceedings of the directors in a book to be kept therefor.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 10:02pm.

we ain't in Massachusetts...! But, I don't care....you are talking about top officers of a corporation....Tyrone is a sleepy little Berg...we are ...not....a high flying corporation...I'm sure at some point, you must have been a clerk...but honey, clerks...somewhere, maybe something...but the Tyrone Clerk, being refered too....wasn't nothing....end of story...get yourself a US atlas, job description for each...or go home to maple leaf land ....where they know how to appreciate 'clerks'

Submitted by sageadvice on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 5:26pm.

Clerks such as Tyrone has are only allowed to pass on decisions by her employer.
The real problem is people keeping the same job too long and end up making too much money for the job.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 4:30am.


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Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Margot on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 9:33pm.

Nuk, the figure is now much larger than 36K. The Council’s investigation has been uncovering things for months. Their solution was to terminate, then sweep any possible criminality under the rug. One or two Council members don’t know what to do and the other members refuse to go any further. It is the Officials responsibility to ask the DA or GBI for a criminal investigation. The Lawyer also knows. If a citizen asks for an investigation, the Town Official will just tell the DA/GBI that they are conducting their own internal investigation and nothing will be done. The Town has all the evidence, the citizens don’t.

Submitted by freedomofinfo on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 11:31am.

If an elected official in Tyrone, i.e. Grace Caldwell, Gloria Furr, Eric Dial, Tracy Young, or Don Renwaldt, knows that a criminal act has occurred - i.e. the possiblity of fraud, stealing, embezzlement - and they do not report it to the District Attorney for outside investigation, then the official is acting in furtherance of a crime - i.e accessory after the fact!!

The citizens have long suspected that someone was amiss at Town hall, ever since Barry Amos came on the scene. There have been many blogs in the last year about the possibilities of government employees in Tyrone taking kickbacks of taxpayers money in one form or another. There have been accusations of such on this blog - NOW WHEN THE HECK IS ANYONE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT??

If you don't do something, the the citizens will step forward and force your hand. But you cannot sweep it under the rug because that is illegal too. Forget any civil lawsuits the town has against it and look forward to criminal investigations and arrests and criminal prosecutions. I think someone should go to jail if they are found to be in violation of the law and then convicted of it. That might teach the run away government a lesson that they are not immune from criminal acts in any way, shape or form. So for those of you who want to "sweep it under the rug" that Valerie and probably Barry may both have gotten money from the Town's funds without council approval, think again. We will not allow you to do that!!

And one more thing - who gave Barry Amos a good recommendation to the the Town of Stone Mountain for employment?? - poor Stone Mountain, they have Barry as their town manager now. If the town doesn't do something about Valerie and her unexplained comp time she will be working in Stone Mountain within the month....

Ironically the extra pay was allegedly cashed in two days after the election this past November - Barry did the same thing then and again in December, allegedly. That is pretty obvious. They knew they were on the way out and just wanted to suck Tyrone's money one more time before they left. What a continuing tragedy!!

Submitted by ConfushaSay on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 4:46pm.

What they need to do is shut the government down for 60 days and spend full time figuring out what the hell is going on!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 7:32pm.

Our very own Harold Logsdon, Mayor of PTC got elected mostly because he kept saying "leadership" - sort of like Obama says "change", but I digress.

Leadership is what Tyrone has never had either through the elected officials or the staff. You guys have got to hire a strong city manager who knows how to do the job. Barry and Valerie pulled the wool over your eyes for years. Get a leader (a new mayor would be a start) and a strong city manager.

Or, if you cant do that - hire that Colorado management company that Sandy Springs and Johns Creek use. They are professionals.

The excuse that you are a small town of only 5700 is just plain silly. Get a grip on your town before (and while) it grows.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Fri, 06/13/2008 - 8:25am.

but, before raising taxes, I think the town should just disolve itself. I don't want anymore local guidance. The same people would pick up the trash, we would still have the same fire department, the county could take over the library, that is a new expense. This area would still be called Tyrone. The county is opposed to sewer on small lots and really has the ability to fight it better than we.

Everything would remain the same...EXCEPT...our taxes would go DOWN...not up.. It would be a win win for the taxpayers.

That is what is going to happen if this same bunch keeps wanting more money to support something that is giving us nothing. There is not one service the town gives us that the county could not.

The only loosers would be overpriced help. The big salaries and the overtime, and the 100% Tyrone paid health care, would go out the window for a select few. But they could apply for county jobs. They won't pay as well but....

If you go to the county they are always nice.

We already have higher taxes than Peachtree city and for what? If we disoved this berg, your yearly taxes would go down 3 or 4 hundred. What is the point of having this town?

We elected 2 new town council people and a Mayor and they are split down the same lines on votes they were before. Nothing has changed.

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