Task force chief resigns

By Ed Brock

The head of the multi-agency Clayton County Drug Task Force has resigned.

Also an ongoing audit of the task force has found "misdirected" funds, according to Clayton County Police Chief Darrell Partain, but no fingers are being pointed.

Clarence Cox, former special agent in charge of the task force, resigned in early October. He said he didn't want to comment on the audit but did say he felt like he might be demoted because of it and that was one reason he resigned, along with uncertainty about whether incoming Sheriff Victor Hill would keep him in the position.

"I'd go back to an investigator's position and that would be a drastic reduction in salary and a reduction in rank," Cox said.

Cox said he's gone on to another job in law enforcement but did not want to release what that job is.

His replacement is Vance Donald, an employee of the Clayton County Police Department, said Sheriff Stanley Tuggle. Tuggle said when Cox resigned the only reason he gave was that he'd found another job.

Tuggle said Cox had been heading the task force for a year and a half and before that worked for the Clayton County Sheriff's Office for about two years.

The task force is composed of officers and investigators from Tuggle's and Partain's departments as well as the Clayton County District Attorney's Office. Tuggle and Clayton County District Attorney Bob Keller requested the audit, said Partain who is the head of the board overseeing the task force.

Partain said he could not release more details about the "misdirected" funds until the audit is complete, perhaps in two or three weeks.

They brought in KPMG LLP to perform the audit.

"We wanted an independent auditor," Partain said.

Tuggle and Keller said they asked for the audit because they are both leaving office after December.

"Before I leave I want to make sure everything is in order," Tuggle said.

Hill said he thinks the audit should have been left to him and incoming District Attorney Jewell Scott.

"I'm going to audit the audit," Hill said.

Hill said he didn't have much information about what the audit had found so far. Scott said she'd been out of the country for a while and also didn't have enough information to comment on the audit.

"The district attorney has two investigators assigned to the task force so we are interested," Scott said.

Keller said he had no criminal investigation pending involving the results of the audit.