Credit Card Controversy

A credit card is causing a big controversy with Lauderdale County's board of supervisors.

"Would you answer this Mr. County Administrator, are there any charges on that credit card that are personal charges, not county related?" asked District 5 supervisor Ray Boswell.

District 4 supervisor Joe Norwood's immediate response to the question was, ''I can tell you that. No!'

That's the exchange which ultimately led to a motion by Boswell to discontinue personal county credit cards for supervisors. Boswell accused Norwood of misusing his county-issued card.

"Have you got a credit where gas was purchased by the District 4 supervisor in north Alabama?" asked Boswell.

"Not in north Alabama but in Alabama,' said Lauderdale County administrator Mike Sumrall.

"I was on program at the World Conference of Mayors. If any of you all want to see that, I bought a tank of gas in Short, Ala., in my Crown Victoria and here are my records," said Norwood.

Norwood said he always repays the county for expenses that are not covered.

According to Sumrall there are currently more than $300 worth of charges on Norwood's credit card that are not covered by the county. Norwood said at least a portion of that was spent on a hotel room during an event for supervisors in north Mississippi. He says prior to this meeting, he was not aware that the county would not cover that cost. Norwood went on to call Boswell's concerns 'bogus.'

"The reason I use the credit card is because it's public record and it's no secret what I'm spending the money on. Unlike other members of this board, they travel in state or wherever they travel and they get per diem so it bypasses the minutes, so you don't know they're spending money," said Norwood.

"Y'all printed up every supervisor a credit card and I never accepted a card," said Boswell.

"No, because you get Mr. Sumrall to do all your per diems and they're not showing. Don't fool the people up in here, "said Norwood.

Until this meeting, Norwood was the only supervisor to still have a personalized county credit card. Previously, the other supervisors turned in their cards. After much discussion the board voted three to one to stop issuing personalized county credit cards for supervisors.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mack Location: Lauderdale County on Jan 7, 2010 at 01:51 PM
    The last few comments caught my attention. Then I start reading the original comments. The problem is not bad grammar or supervisors on a vendetta against another supervisor. I have had business issued credit cards from three of the last three private companies that I've worked for. None of the companies PAID THE BILL DIRECTLY. The statement/bills came to me. I got reimbursement for company charges through a separate process, and was responsible for paying the total statement charges. Something for Lauderdale County to think about.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 6, 2010 at 08:13 PM
    I don't understand what it matters about the credit card. If he has receipts and proof of charges that's the right thing to do. Per diem doesn't show proof except in tax waysfor the counsils books. Credit cards are better. On the other hand, Boswell gets a DUI and it's spoke of once and swept under the rug. To me he should be disciplined for this.. Also he is rude and needs to have more respect for other people!!
  • by Maurice on Jan 6, 2010 at 08:00 PM
    I spent 8 months trying to get a rusted out culvert replaced by then supervisor Jimmy Smith. A friend suggested I call Mr. Boswell. I was not in his district but, he told me, as a county taxpayer I should be able to get this done. He said he would see what he could do. Two days later the culvert was fixed and I recieved a call from him to make sure I was satisfied. We all should have a representatives like that, who look out for the taxpayers.
  • by Maurice on Jan 6, 2010 at 07:45 PM
    To Anonymous, Jan 5, 2010, 6:18 Your grammer is so poor it's difficult for me to understand what your saying. Let me see if I can answer you. I do not won a barn. I have not spoken with Ray Boswell in several years. I do not use tobacco. I do not care much for boiled peanuts.
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Lauderdale on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM
    Boswell is racist and jealous of Norwood. He is the real crook. Look out Meridian, get racist Boswell out!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 at 04:18 PM
    To me Ray Boswell has no tact and as a result I can't see pass that regarding anything he's talking about..And he may have a valid point but he is so beligerant so overwhelming until what he's trying to present loses importance due to his ignorance...REALLY REALLY RAY where was all that when you were drunk driving???? No he was quite as a church mouse..And to maurice the comment about Joe represent ppl with gov give aways I'm sure you and Ray sit around talking like that dipping tabacco spitting it in a can all the while chewing on a boil peanuts in ur barn...rite...
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 at 12:18 PM
    When are we going to wake up and realize that Ray Boswell is nothing but an ignorant blow hard who has no business having any say in any form of government? Vote him out! I'm tired of him!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM
    From an accounting stand point, It is WAY easier to track charges on a credit card than being issued a per diem. Don't let Ray fool you, he is up to no good.
  • by MAD Location: meridian on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:02 AM
    for get about it.....Boswell should be more concerned about getting some HEAT in their own building! Those poor employees don't stand a chance in #$%^&*()in getting some HEAT!! Sad showing Boswell is this all we get from you? Let keep forcused please!
  • by what's important on Jan 5, 2010 at 09:35 AM
    PLEASE MERIDIAN LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY AND STOP FIGHTING.
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