ATLANTA (AP) – State inspectors and an investigation found that a Georgia agency illegally withheld millions of dollars in seized funds and spent money on Fitbits, exercise equipment, and other items.
A department of the Treasury also spent money on engraved firearms and stress balls in the form of beer mugs. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Tuesday’s Bureau of Inspector General’s report confirmed last year’s coverage by the newspaper and WSB-TV detailing how the money seized from tax investigations was spent by the Treasury Department’s Special Investigations Office.
The spending by the Treasury Department’s investigative department was “clearly wasteful” and “gave the appearance of extravagance,” the report said.
The department has since changed its policy and returned money to the state treasury where it should have gone, the newspaper reported.
Finance Commissioner Robyn Crittenden, who took over the department in July, promised further reforms.
“The department is actively moving forward to ensure that the results highlighted in this report are addressed,” Crittenden said Tuesday.
“We are focused on the Treasury Department’s mission to promote public trust and compliance while providing excellent customer service,” added Crittenden. “We are committed to doing what is right consistently and serving Georgia taxpayers with integrity and accountability.”
The Inspector General’s investigation began after receiving complaints from an attorney representing reality show personalities Todd and Julie Chrisley, whose 2014 TV show “Chrisley Knows Best” made its debut. Her attorney Chris Anulewicz had filed a complaint against the Office of Special Investigations last year.
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