When Carlisle’s former tax collector George Hicks pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony count of delivery of marijuana, his problems didn’t end with the judge’s sentence. His operation of the tax collector’s office is being audited because of unaccounted tax payments.
He took the oath of office in January 2012 at the age of 20. He was working the position for less than eight months when he was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover cop on two different occasions. Civil proceedings stripped him of the duties. He was sentenced to two years of probation, a fine of $300 and ordered to make $5,000 restitution in an unrelated matter. He retained the title and his salary, receiving about $8,000 for doing nothing for five months. Then he moved to Philadelphia, disqualifying him from serving even in title only. A hearing was scheduled for next week to formally remove him. That’s been cancelled. After Carlisle borough took over tax collection duties, an audit revealed that $20,000 paid in cash to Hicks’ office was unaccounted for. Six months later no final audit or information from Cumberland County controller Al Whitcomb. District Attorney Dave Freed says now that hicks has been convicted, sentenced and removed from office, it's time to address the remaining mess.
Dave Freed, Cumberland County District Attorney:
"Now we can focus on looking back to see if anything is out of place. That takes cooperation from the borough and from the county. We've got to try to figure that out because if were missing a big chunk of tax money, as you know every dollar counts. So we've got to make sure we can recover that."
County controller Al Whitcomb says that taxpayers continue to come forward with discrepancies and it's time consuming. But he hopes to outline the details and issue an audit report by late spring.