Auditor calls Shoals volunteers into action to halt corruption and waste

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – An army is being gathered across the state of Alabama. Citizens are being asked to volunteer to be watch-dogs against government waste and abuse, and the request is coming from a state agency.

In a noon gathering at the Tuscumbia Roundhouse, State Auditor Jim Zeigler assembled his troops.

An “All-Volunteer Army” of retirees, students, and house wives needed to investigate government waste and abuse. Zeigler said with the state $200-million in the hole, the time is right for action.

“We need to save every dollar that we can save, and there are ways in state government,” Zeigler explained. “If you can save half-a-million dollars here, a million dollars there, two million dollars there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

There are four options which Zeigler has when the volunteers find enough evidence of waste or corruption. One is to take the information to a grand jury. Two is to file a taxpayer lawsuit. The third option would be to notify the department head or governor. And Zeigler’s final option would be to release the information to the media.

“A lot of times an agency or official won’t change something that they’re doing because they see the light, but because they feel the heat,” Zeigler stated.

And Zeigler said he is holding true to his campaign pledge of holding people responsible for the taxpayer’s money in Montgomery.

Wednesday’s gathering in Tuscumbia was the first stop by the state auditor in a state-wide campaign to end government waste. Each volunteer will be trained by the auditor to look into each allegation brought to his office.