Cosby, who is running for the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners chairman seat, and her team of supporters rallied outside Wallace’s office presenting what they called “an audit of the audit.”
The May 2014 grand jury announced Tuesday they found no prosecutable criminal case with regard to the Ball Ground Recycling project. Wallace announced Wednesday her office has officially closed the case as well.
On April 28, the forensic audit on the Ball Ground Recycling project was released to the public by Wallace’s office. The auditor, McClendon and Associates, submitted the documents to Wallace in September 2013.
“The District Attorney has held the audit for nine months. We have had barely three months to see it. We want to look at this document,” Cosby said. “We’re very disturbed with what is going on in Cherokee County. There seems to be a collusion of effort to bury the forensic audit.”
In 2007, the county backed $18.1 million in bonds to relocate the recycling business off county-owned property on Blaylock Road near Holly Springs to a site off Highway 5 near Ball Ground. The county continues to own the shuttered recycling plant.
Operator Jimmy Bobo later declared bankruptcy, leaving the county to foot the bill of $100,000 per month in debt service payments on the remaining $16 million loan.
Cosby claimed during the conference Wallace had been compromised and is not in a position “where she can honestly and aggres-sively review the audit.”
Wallace, who did not attend the press conference, said Thursday afternoon she was aware of the meeting and she had received Cosby’s letter, but it did not change the status of the case.
“I have received the memorandum from Cosby stating her position. This matter remains officially closed in my office,” Wallace said.
Cosby stated she requested a copy of the police findings from Detective Bert Love but was told he handed over his file to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“We are requesting (Wallace) allow investigations to stay open for at least nine months and allow the public to review this audit before it is shut down. We deserve as much time as she had to review it, because we have jobs and other responsibilities and this is her job to do,” Cosby said. “At the same time, we’re recommending that if she cannot do this job, we’ve asked surrounding counties that have experience with white collar crimes in Gwinnett and Cobb counties to do it instead. I’ve talked to both of those district attorneys and they’re willing to review it. We believe that it should be handled by a different district attorney.”
While Cosby was surrounded by supporters during the conference, she was greeted by protesters, as well. When Cosby’s campaign manager Don Vice asked protester Bob Rugg how he heard word of the “private” press conference, Rugg said it was the talk of the town.
Rugg along with three others brought signs saying, “Say no to Cosby. She will bankrupt the county” and “Cosby went bankrupt and we paid for her $1.3 million dollar spending spree!”
When Rugg tried to ask Cosby a question, Cosby said she was only taking questions from the press.
“The press conference is to demand that the forensic audit be opened. We can talk about my bankruptcy at another time. But I can tell you this. It was not about mismanagement. It was about being out of funds,” Cosby said when asked by the media her response to the signs. “Our incomes were lost same time everyone else’s was in 2007. We didn’t have the money. In that time it was the construction business that was the first to be hurt in the downturn of the economy.”
Cosby once again asked all questions be directed back toward the topic of reopening the case in order for citizens to review the forensic audit.
“The audit belongs to the people. The auditor’s work was a little disheveled, but despite it we were able to piece it together,” Cosby said.
Cosby is running as an independent candidate against Chairman Buzz Ahrens in the Nov. 4 General Election for the chairman seat. Her name was placed on the ballot after the Cherokee County Board of Elections approved her more than 5,982 signatures needed.