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.