During the recent look at Columbia County Georgia’s controversial 2010 Banking Services Request For Proposal, which was awarded to Georgia Bank and Trust, a bank in which two county commissioners held stock and a third is now President of the bank, Ms. Leanne Reece was seen at the County Commission meeting accompanied by a young lad taken to be her son. You can see the boy in this video.
His presence was enough to change the topic of the presentation that night from Banking Services to the TIA 2010 scandal, because there was no desire to pressure his mom in front of him.
It is a shame the county commissioners aren’t so forgiving when it comes to applying pressure to county employees to get an intended outcome.
The banking RFP seems to have gone through the entire process up to a week or so prior to the meeting as Bid Title: Banking Services for Columbia County, GA Board of Commissioners Bid Number: 2010-005 but was on the Agenda April 20, 2010, the fateful night that the commission awarded the contract, as RFP 2010-005 Banking Services for the County and Water Utility.
Why is the title change potentially significant? Based upon the submissions by responding banks, the evaluation team only recommended Georgia Bank and Trust for the Water Utility accounts, county accounts the bank already had. Finance Director Reece was one of the evaluators and had even noted that the apparently winning bank based upon the evaluation, First Citizens Bank, had offered a 1% interest rate minimum. She wrote there was “no floor” in the GB&T proposal, an odd statement since GB&T is shown to have offered a floor of 0.75%. Can it be that was true with the original submittals, since replaced by altered documents? With this gang of manipulators, who knows?
If she was that attuned to the greater interest earnings potential of First Citizens, why would Director Reece go along with the lesser proposal based upon a speculative analysis from county bond underwriter Jeffries?
This entire affair reeks of pressure put on a professional woman with a family by powerful men with control over her job.
You have to hope that job isn’t in jeopardy for yielding to human fear.