Columbia County Tax Commissioner Kay Allen and her husband County Commissioner Charles Allen have both resigned.
In a statement, Allen Cites her husband's prostate cancer and her recent legal battle with the Columbia County Commission as reasons why they are stepping down.
In recent weeks, commissioners have accused Kay Allen of wrongfully withholding money from the cities of Harlem and Grovetown but Allen remains it was a misinterpreting of the law and she did nothing wrong.
Allen's full statement:
COLUMBIA COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER
March 4, 2014
My husband Charles and I have had the privilege of calling Columbia County home for all our lives. The people of Columbia County are our friends and neighbors. We are profoundly grateful to them for allowing us to serve in public office for a total of more than forty years.
As some of you are aware, Charles was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. We are
hopeful about his prognosis, and we intend to fight this disease with everything we have. But in light of his medical condition, we had each intended to make this our last terms in office. Neither of us was planning on running for re-election.
We had hoped to complete our terms and our public service to Columbia County and then
step down into retirement. In recent months, however, a disagreement has arisen about the
proper interpretation of a law that, for many years, has allowed the Tax Commissioner to be
compensated for collecting municipal taxes for cities in Columbia County. Unfortunately, that
dispute has erupted into a full-scale political and legal battle. It has become clear that continuing to fight that battle would result in significant costs for the citizens of Columbia County, and would be a major distraction from the business of governing for everyone involved.
Throughout our terms in public service, we have always tried to give the highest priority
to the needs of our constituents. With that in mind, it is clear to Charles and me that it is not in
the interests of the citizens of Columbia County - or for our family - for this to continue.
With that in mind, we have decided to jointly retire from public office. In doing so, we
hope to allow the healing process to begin for Columbia County. We hope that our resignations
will allow all of our elected officials to turn their full attention back to serving the County's
citizens. We will be happy to assist in any way we can with the transition to our successors.
Throughout these many years in public service, we have had the great pleasure of
working with some of the finest people and most dedicated public servants in Georgia. We have great respect for all of you, and we thank each of you for being a part of our team and our lives.