April 16, 2009
Alicia Andrews, wife of Lowndes County Tax Collector and Assessor Greg Andrews, resigned last week in what may be a move tied to a Mississippi Ethics Commission nepotism complaint brought in February against Greg Andrews.
"Yes, she did resign last Friday at my advice," Jeff Smith, the Andrews'' attorney, said this morning. "At this stage, we really aren''t supposed to talk about it, but I can tell you she wouldn''t have resigned if the ethics probe had not been filed."
A complaint was filed with the Ethics Commission a few months ago over nepotism concerns in the county tax office. State law prohibits elected officials from hiring and employing family members.
However, Alicia Andrews worked as a deputy tax collector for several years before her resignation; she began working at the office a few months before Greg Andrews was hired there, Smith previously explained.
Greg and Alicia Andrews began working in the tax office more than 20 years ago, and worked there for a few years before they were married. Greg Andrews became the county tax assessor/collector in 1996.
Although Smith previously said he believed the couple would be grandfathered into the Ethics Commission''s requirements, he urged Alicia Andrews to resign from the office last week.
"They (Ethics Commission) had set the case for a hearing pretty soon," Smith said. "When you are in a situation like this, you want to try and settle the case between the time the complaint is filed and the time of the hearing if at all possible.
"I imagine once this is all over, the Ethics Commission will release a report about the case detailing their findings," Smith added. "We just felt that the best thing to do right now was for her to resign."
Greg Andrews declined to comment on the matter. Alicia Andrews could not be reached by telephone for comment.
hk commented at 4/16/2009 2:24:00 PM:
if she was already working at the office and he was elected to the office--I do not see that he was "hired"--he was elected.. his wife just happens to also work in that office.. he was elected by the people of the county.
I support the andrews commented at 4/16/2009 3:24:00 PM:
I just want to say that this is another example of people being haters here in Columbus. The Andrews are are great people. I am sure somebody just wanted to stick their nose in somebody else business. It wouldn't suprise me if it was Leroy, he seems to have nothing else to do but start stuff.
D.Matt commented at 4/17/2009 10:48:00 AM:
The law is the law regardless of who turned them in. She didn't have to resign. They could have fought it in a court of law. If they were so ethical, why didn't they fight it? They knew they were wrong and covered their tracks "QUICK!"
MarkS commented at 4/17/2009 11:35:00 AM:
I agree with hk, if she was already working there before he was hired and then they got married, I don't see what the big deal is. As hard as it is to get a job in today's economy, they would have to fire me.
And the cost of defending themselves would have probably been cost prohibitive.
Freddy commented at 4/17/2009 2:51:00 PM:
The Andrews are good folks. It is the other employees in that office that suck. Anyone who has had to get a tag knows what I mean.
Mermade commented at 4/19/2009 1:08:00 PM:
Alicia should be grandfathered in as she is a hard worker. She knows all the ins and outs of the tax office. It isn't in the best interest of the county to lose her vast knowledge of the tax office.
jamie commented at 4/20/2009 11:17:00 AM:
D. Matt....you are a pot stirrer!
You know nothing of this expect what you just read in the above article..if you even read it. They were NOT trying to cover anything up. I imagine the reason they didn't fight it is because lawyers are expensive. By the way your "law is the law" comment shows your ignorance...They weren't breaking any laws! Get a clue.
1. Coach Marsh will be remembered COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY