Updated:ATLANTA - MARTA's general manager spoke publicly for the first time on Monday about firing her own executive assistant for alleged purchase card abuse.
MARTA CEO Addresses Agency's P-Card Abuse
Beverly Scott told Channel 2's Lori Geary she's terribly embarrassed that the incident happened on her watch, but she wanted to assure taxpayers it won't happen again.
"I will tell you as God is my witness, I'll never inappropriately misuse a card," Scott said during a meeting on what she called systemic p-card abuse within the MARTA system.
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"What can I say to you Lori? I'm a straight shooter. I wished we, God knows I wish we were not having this conversation, but I can assure anybody of one thing, when I know it, I'm on it," Scott said.
Doree Henry is the former executive assistant accused of racking up more than $8,000 in questionable charges on her p-card.
Scott said Henry's card had been terminated for a year before Scott found out there were problems.
"Let me tell you, I did not give the card, did not authorize the card, didn't approve the card, didn't know about the card and I'm being very honest," Scott said.
Scott said she immediately called for an extensive audit of the p-card system which uncovered major problems. "Unfortunately, I wish I could tell you that it was localized and it was not," Scott added.
Scott outlined to Geary the new policies put in place effective immediately.
All 140 MARTA employees who have p-cards will go through annual training on how to use them.
They must provide monthly reports and receipts and must have someone approve and authorize the purchases.
Scott told Geary she takes full responsibility for what happened in the past. "I occupy the ground I stand on. I'm the general manager and CEO of MARTA and so I have no lack of clarity regarding where the buck stops and the buck stops with me," said Scott.
Scott told Geary she didn't pursue criminal charges against Henry because there was such an overall break down of internal controls.
Scott said she expects Henry to make full restitution to taxpayers because they held back her pay.