Highland County Board of Supervisors Announces Investigation into the Misappropriation of Funds at January Meeting

This is part two of our story on the January meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors. 


On January 2, at the first regular meeting for the newly elected Highland County Board of Supervisors, an official statement was read in by Supervisor Henry Budzinski to address the need for discretionary spending and hiring freezes placed by the board for the next sixty days.


“It saddens me that I have to make this statement. The county is conducting an investigation into the misappropriation of county funds. A county employee has been on administrative leave with pay during the investigation. The board of Supervisors will have not comment regarding this matter at this time and will not entertain any questions concerning this matter. Please respect this request.”


Earlier in the meeting, Henry Budzinski was elected to the chairperson position. During the standard time for board comments, Supervisor Paul Trible gave his reasoning for being on the Highland County Board of Supervisors and asked for all in the room to hold him accountable.


“I just basically have a very brief comment, and that is that my purpose in my mind for this position is to make certain that anything we spend money on is limited to those things that are absolutely necessary for our county. Emphasis is on necessary. And what I’m asking for everybody in this room to do, is that if I diverge from that path, that you remind me very strongly of what I just said a few seconds ago.”


He continued, “My view of government is that it is very good at doing a couple of things. One, that it is very good at taking, and another, that it is very good at giving somebody else’s money to somebody else. I think that we are a very small community with very limited resources and that we need to husband those resources and spend them very, very wisely. And that’s what I intend to do as a Supervisor. At least that is my hope. 


Budzinski continued in that vein with his board comments:


“The main thing is we’re all going to do what we think is best for the community. And hopefully we’ll have a lot of community members, it’s great to see everyone out here this evening. We hope you come out and support us and give us your view on it. I so look forward to working with everybody.”


Jerri Botkin, Executive Assistant to the County Administrator, read in and answered questions about the current warrants, and budgeting and appropriations, and asked for signatory permissions from the board as a whole. After minimal discussion these were all granted unanimously. 


The board then went into closed session for a personnel matter regarding the investigation of duties surrounding county personnel. 


This is an ongoing story and our news reporters will continue updates as necessary


To hear part one of this story from the January meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors, visit our website www.alleghenymountainradio.org.


Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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