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Cavanagh assails tax claim head

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2001

Fayette County Commissioner Sean Cavanagh on Tuesday attacked the head of the Fayette County Tax Claim Bureau for not following procedures in the collection of money in her office.

"It's been called to my attention that you are still putting all the money collected in one cash register," Cavanagh said. "Is that true, Donna (Yauger)?"

Yauger replied that it was true, but it was because she did not have the funding to properly implement the plan directed by the commissioners last year. The directive came after $900 turned up missing at the bureau and was never recovered. It's believed the money was placed out in the open and was taken by someone who entered the office.

"Why haven't you done as we asked?" Cavanagh asked. "This is totally unacceptable."

Yauger said she had taken steps to implement the plan that would account for all funds that come into the office. She explained that she had requested funds to provide each clerk with a cash amount each day. The procedure would enable them to balance their collections at the end of the day.

"What happened to that?" Cavanagh asked.

"I don't know where the memo went to, but we never got any money," Yauger said.

"That's no excuse," Cavanagh said. "This is totally unacceptable. Here we have gone through another whole tax season, and the plan was not implemented. What if more money had come up missing• There would have been a lot of trouble."

Board Chairman Vincent Vicites attempted to short-circuit Cavanagh's attack, during which time Yauger left the room.

"You didn't handle that right," Vicites told Cavanagh. "You had that woman in tears."

Cavanagh continued to attack Yauger's failure to follow procedures.

"I said exactly what I wanted to," he said. "If she can't follow our instructions, then something should be done."

"But you could have done it in a better way," said Vicites. "You didn't need to embarrass her like that."

"You're just backing her because you hired her," Cavanagh said.

"I'm not backing anyone," said Vicites. "I just think you could have treated her better."

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