Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Audit Done, Sikes-Graham Fight Not

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Audit Done, Sikes-Graham Fight Not

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

The long wait for a state audit of Callahan's operations appears to be over.

Callahan Mayor Shirley Graham said Thursday that a public meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow to release the preliminary findings of an operational audit by the Florida Auditor General's office.

Graham met with state officials Wednesday, but said she couldn't discuss what was said. No written findings were presented at the meeting, and they won't be made available until tomorrow's meeting, Graham said.

Graham said the public won't be allowed to ask questions at the meeting.

Callahan Council President Jack Sikes was to meet with auditors in a separate meeting Friday. He was unavailable for comment.

The audit and its potential findings have been a topic of intense speculation in Callahan for more than a year. Assistant State Attorney Granville "Doc" Burgess requested it in May 2001 after he received numerous complaints, including allegations of possible irregularities in the application for, and administration of, state grants.

State auditors began the audit in January, and were at Town Hall reviewing documents until June.

Since the audit began, Callahan's political landscape has been transformed several times. The Town Council in April fired former Zoning & Building Administrator Bobbi Boone, who was at the center of many of the complaints lodged with prosecutors. Boone denied any wrongdoing, saying she was being unfairly criticized for enforcing town ordinances.

At the same April meeting, Sikes, who supported Boone, was removed as Town Council president after questions arose about whether he paid to tap into the town's water system four years earlier.

Sikes regained his council presidency last month after Callahan's municipal election changed the makeup of the council. …

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