--On the 11th of March the Legislature passed a joint resolution, instructing the Auditor
of Public Accounts, in his settlement with defaulting officers, to remit all damages recovered against them by judgments of the Courts
, except only so much as might be necessary to pay the expenses of collection.
This would appear to be offering a large bonus
But the inducement held out by the General Assembly to an officer to become a defaulter, does not stop at this.
The same resolution declares, that is such defaulting officer shall pay the amount due from him into the Treasury, by the 1st day of April, he shall be allowed a commission of five per cent. The peculiarity and injustice of this resolution may be readily by referring to the general law allowing Sheriffs commissions for collections.
If he collected the April licenses, and paid them into the Treasury within the time prescribed by law, he was entitled, under the general law, to receive a commission of four per cent. This resolution allows him five per cent., and authorizes the payment without interest.
With such sage guardians of the public treasury, it may well be asked, how long the public credit can be sustained, and how a time will intervene before all the officers of the State
will become defaulters!
Twelve months ago there were but eight counties in the State
whose officers were free from defalcations to the public treasury.
If defaulters are to be rewarded, punctuality must become dishonorable; and it is not difficult to see the end of our public credit.
Can it be possible, as we understand, that the Chairman
of the Finance Committee was the author and advocate of this resolution!