PTC OKs outside probe of employee

Thu, 12/27/2007 - 4:44pm
By: John Munford

Allegations, employee identity kept secret for now

The Peachtree City Council has authorized seeking an outside counsel to investigate allegations filed against a current employee, city officials have said.

Officials have refused to identify the employee, except to say it is not Police Chief James Murray, who is retiring effective Jan. 1. Officials have also declined to explain the nature of the allegations.

Council voted Dec. 6 to initiate the investigation after receiving some information on personnel matters in executive (closed) session, said City Attorney Ted Meeker.

Meeker said council needed to decide whether or not to proceed with the investigation in-house or have it conducted by an outside counsel instead.

Mayor Harold Logsdon specifically declined to say which employee is the target of the investigation, but he said the employee has not been suspended from duty.

Georgia law allows council to meet in closed session to discuss and deliberate upon a disciplinary action or dismissal of an employee. But when council receives evidence or hears argument on such charges, that portion of the meeting must be open, according to the state’s open meetings law.

Any such vote on the matter must also be taken in public and duly recorded in minutes that must be available to the public “at all times,” the open meetings statute says.

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Dalton Russell's picture
Submitted by Dalton Russell on Fri, 04/11/2008 - 4:16pm.

So, does anyone know what ever became of this investigation by an outside counsel? It's amazing that it dwindled away to nothing and was never heard of again. I believe it's the right of the citizens of this community to know what's going on with this and someone needs to step up and let us know who, what, and why the investigation was initiated and what the final results were.

Submitted by DWKK07 on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 10:40am.

Quite simply it is NOT going to be the chief of police - they have already made that clear. Not that politicians don't bend the truth, but they would not such make such a blatantly false statement that they know will be revealed in a couple of weeks. Also, the reasoning by other posters here about it being the City Manager is flawed. At no point has it been said that the investigation involves somebody managed by the mayor and council. They are involved because their authorization must be sought to bring in an outside agency to investigate any employee - especially when it involves a matter that could be discredit or scrutiny to the city. Now for some better reasoning: Previous investigations of city employees (such as the Public Works scandal) have been handled by the city's police department. If in this case that is not acceptable, that is likely because it involves a member of the police department. We've already been told (and I personally believe it) that it is not the chief. That would lead me to believe that allegations of a sensitive nature have been made against one of the officers, and the higher ranking members of the PD want to ensure that they are not accused of insufficiently (or with bias) investigating the case since it involves one of their own. This still leaves a number of possibilities, but I think it at least gets us on the right page. I, of course, could be totally wrong - but this makes more sense to me.

--- Send this link to all your friends . Go and sign the Petition!

Submitted by Nitpickers on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 8:49am.

Why would that be necessary? When we did that for the Tennis Center, nothing happened!

It is just that our town officials are spineless and try to protect one another, I think.

If it is a vendetta, that is even worse.

Do your job, let us know the problem and give us your action!

JacquesMolay's picture
Submitted by JacquesMolay on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 10:35pm.

Skyspy and Smiles just be patient. Skyspy I think this time the investigation is not for the City Manager. I think it is going to be with one of the Department's. I think with Chief Murray's quick exit there is more to the story. I don't think the investigation is focused at former Chief Murray, but there is definitely more going on than we know about.

Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 3:07pm.

I don't know if that guy is a legal citizen yet, but not one of his workers speaks english. You are right that situation begs for an investigation. I don't think he is bonded or insured either. That would be a good one for the I team when they get bored.

Submitted by d.smith700 on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 2:11pm.

type of business dealings!!!

All Smiles's picture
Submitted by All Smiles on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 5:00pm.

Sooo, when is the cat going to be let out of the bag??? I have my doubts as to the person under investigation. It would not surprise many if infact it is Chief Murry. Another thought, who is the "outside counsel"?

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 8:11am.

It could just as easily be a dog as a cat that they are investigating.

Probably Bernie - resume padding would be my first guess.

Second choice would be the lawyer for ineffective lawyering. That may be the reason for outside council.

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 6:18pm.

I think Nuk is right. The only city employee who answers directly to the councilFOOLS is DUI bernie.

I have been very critical of Chief Murray. He loves TV cameras, he could care less about the average citizen, or the cart paths......but I don't think he is stupid enough to do anything illegal. His wife reitired over a year ago, so nobody is surprised by his retirement. He definitly has "napoleon syndrome" but he also cared enough about his employees to keep them safe from the black mold growing in the police station. That is more than I can say for my chief.

My bet is on DUI bernie, this city could run itself, we don't need him.

To the new council: please lets cut this cancer and move on. We could get a college intern for 20,000 a year who would do better.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Fri, 12/28/2007 - 10:15am.

Since the PTC Mayor and council only have authority over one employee-City Manager Bernie McMullen-it's pretty easy to figure out who is under investigation especially since they stated it's a current, unsuspended employee.

Submitted by skyspy on Fri, 12/28/2007 - 10:23am.

Hmmm, we could easily replace him with a college intern and get quality work. It's time to cut the cancer and move on.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Fri, 12/28/2007 - 10:29am.

Word I hear is that he tried to get an immediate family member hired at the Fire Dept in PTC. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that he's been a poor City Manager all-around in my opinion and that the City could do a whole lot better. Between him and Tyrone's Amos, there are a couple of openings that could easily be big upgrades over the current people in those positions.

Submitted by Valerie on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 11:33pm.

have a partial solution to your Town Mgr. problem. We offer to swap Tyrone Town Mgr. Barry Amos for your Town Mgr. and we will throw in our Planning Commission members Kathy Winton/Smartypants and Ginger Blackstone for nothing.

Submitted by kitty2u on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 9:21pm.

Okay now Nuk, who did you hear that from? And what immediate family member? Also, what things has he done poorly at as far as his job is concerned? I just love it when someone like you spouts off without anything to back it up.

Be nice, Kitty2U

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 8:41am.

Like I said, the ONLY EMPLOYEE in PTC government the Mayor/Council have authority over is the City Manager. This is a weak-Council, strong CityMgr government. The City Manager reports to them, everyone else reports to him. That's per the charter of the city.If it's any other "current employee" in the City, they(Council) don't need to investigate anything and the City Manager would handle it.

The immediate family member is his son. Go make an Open Records request at City Hall if you are skeptical.

As far as what he has done poorly? Let's see.....the first month on the job he goes to Council and tells them he can't do the job without help? That would be the first one. He stated it was simply too much work and he needed an assistant, despite the fact that there had never been a person solely in a position of assistant city manager ever before. Did the workload suddenly so dramatically increase in one month that much to justify another six figure salary being added to the payroll?

Next, the DUI. That would have been a really good time to quietly resign and move on elsewhere. Instead, by sticking around, all future relations with the Police Dept became wrecked because of his very bad judgment. Telling a cop who happens to be under you on the organizational chart "Do you not know who I am?" isn't great "management" either.

All Smiles's picture
Submitted by All Smiles on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 11:06am.

Nuk, I thought the Police Chief also answered to city council? If not, then who does he answer to? Not himself I hope!!!! Skyspy, I thought I would fall over laughing when I read your comment! I've always thought Police Chief Murry had "short mans syndrome" His actions sure do show hes got it! I am glad to hear he took care of the men and women of the police force. I have a family member close to many in that department and I had heard this before. My family member also knows many on the FPD. Is this who you are with?

Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 3:16pm.

Glad to help on a rainy day.

The police chief answers to the city manager. That is why I thought it was so bad when our drunk city manager tried to bully, and threaten our fine officers when he was clearly drunk. To top it off he poured his drink on the cops shoe.(which I think is "simple assault" and he should have charged with that, and assaulting a police officer as well) He should have not only been fired, but thrown out of town as well.
We could get a college intern to do the job of city manager for free, and I bet they would do a better job, and be able to do it themselves. This is a very small city that basically runs itself. We need to cut the cancer and move on. Special message to Mr. Haddix, Mr. Sturbaum, and the rest of the councilFOOLS: send the drunk and his assistant packing.

As mudcat pointed out it could also involve our inept liar(lawyer) for incompetent advice about the illegal tennis center loan.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 11:03pm.

It couldn't be Ted Meeker since the attorney is an independent contractor and not an employee. Of course, if Harold is totally lying in his statement all bets are off, but I can't think of why he would because that would really come back to bite him hard. If he lied about what happened in executive session it would also require all the rest of the council to go along with him and I sure don't see that happening.
So, when he says "it's not James Murray," there isn't any reason to doubt him.

Submitted by d.smith700 on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 2:10pm.

To whom does he answer, you mean?

Good luck getting that answer from city hall! I tried once, simply calling and asking and was told to read the city ordnances!

It is not clear cut, although technically the Chief works for the Manager, but the manager can't interfere with his work!

It doesn't work to work for several council members at once, I don't think, so maybe he works for no one!

Unless one is on the third or fourth tier there is never the danger of anyone getting "fired."

They are threatened nicely to leave or face court.

Hi There's picture
Submitted by Hi There on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 2:48pm.

Hummmm, and look whos leaving, Police Chief! "They are threatened nicely to leave or face court." My money is on the Police Chief who is under investigation. It's just a smoke screen to say it is not him and I'm sure in the end we'll all find out it's the Chief.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 8:51am.

You don't really think that anybody fires anyone in PTC without Mayor and Council approval, do you.
Then they hire outsiders to do the dirty work!
Kinda like the army!

Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 11:37am.

with perhaps a small bit of unfinished dirty work to clean up with the new Council. All we as citizens can do now is to wait and see how Mr Haddix and Mr Sturbaum will affect the other three members. I prefer not to speculate, but would suggest that more of Council deliberations be made public vice "executive session" that have become ever more prevalent.
A substantial swing in the Council will take place, and initially, it may be rough going for at least two members. I see Ms Plunkett being the "deciding factor" over the next two years which may place her in an optimal position to run for mayor in two years. We will just have to wait and see.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 8:00am.

The 2 new guys got elected by opposing TDK and distancing themselves from the Mayor (and his buddy Boone). Plunkett will clearly be the swing vote on many issues and she is also in a position now to be mayor pro tem as well as take leadership on certain initiatives. She is a logical next Mayor since Harold won't run, Boone can't win and the city is not likely to elect someone without experience again (read Brown nightmare).

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