The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office purchased $262,000 worth of vehicles and respirators without receiving a written quote upon request, a violation of county policy, according to the Office of the Home Auditor. North Carolina country.
The items totaled $262,009 and included seven cars ($250,049 total) and 40 gas masks ($11,960 total), according to a document issued by public state auditors. Father. The most expensive car is the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe purchased for $48,200.
To identify items purchased at a fair price, Johnston County Purchasing Policy requires at least three written quotes for any purchase over $7,500.
The document indicated that the sheriff’s office was likely to overpay for the items because it did not receive the required quotes.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell responded, saying he violated policy by treating these purchases as emergency purchases. He also said he wants to buy items locally and research the prices of items before buying them.
According to the report, Bizzell did not document his research with the audit office and said he did not keep any of the documents because “if I cannot be trusted as sheriff, then you can’t be trusted.” Who can you trust?”
The items were purchased between January 2019 and April 2020, according to the report. Bizzell said he considered buying an emergency car because the deadline was over.
According to the auditor’s report, “the deadline to order three 2020 Chevrolet Tahoes directly from the factory had expired when the sheriff’s office decided to purchase them … and a local dealer had to order the vehicles at the locations.” another batch of dealers to fill orders from the sheriff’s office, which, according to the sheriff, is an emergency, because ‘these cars cannot be ordered.’
Bizzell said the respirators were purchased in January 2019 during a period of “riots and civil unrest.”
Johnston County Attorney Jennifer Slusser and the sheriff’s office both responded to the auditor’s report.
Slusser acknowledged the findings and said she believes Bizzell acted in “good faith seeking to save taxpayers money while acquiring the facilities and equipment needed to serve the citizens of Johnston County.”
However, Slusser said the county will make sure to meet the recommendations and guidance provided by the state auditor, including:
- Enforce purchasing policies to ensure competitive prices on all purchases over $7,500.
- Receive at least three written quotes for all purchases greater than $7,500.
- Notify the CFO by email when an urgent purchase is made, waiving the purchase quote request.
- Ensure that all purchases that are considered urgent purchases meet the definition of urgent purchase as defined in the purchasing policy.