EXCLUSIVE: Columbia County Chair Candidate Pam Tucker talks Scott Johnson, resignation and future campaign goals

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF)-  If you ask former Columbia County EMA Director Pam Tucker, she’ll tell you the past few months have been a whirlwind.

“It was like, ‘ Merry Christmas’, go back to work, things fall apart, and I have a realization, an awakening, whatever you want to call it, that this is your time to run for commission chair,” said Tucker.

It’s a position, Tucker says, she’s been preparing for.

“I’ve been a public servant my whole career…39 years. I wasn’t ready to give that up,” said Tucker.

Now, she says it’s, “Tucker Time.” She’s pushing her grass roots effort to make sure she becomes the next Columbia County chairperson.

Her campaign announcement came on the heels of a January resignation as the county EMA director. It’s a position she held for 18 years.

Tucker says it started when County Administrator Scott Johnson told her to start funneling information through one source, the county’s public information officer.

“I wasn’t just told we’re going to let that person handle that, I was told, ‘You give her your email list that I spent 18 years starting and you don’t send anything else out… and by the way, you don’t put anything on your personal Facebook page.'”

Tucker says that’s when things started going downhill.

“That was the type of pettiness that was going on. That was just a teeny part of the pettiness that was going on,” said Tucker.

Right now, there’s an ongoing internal investigation after Tucker cited a hostile work environment under Johnson.

NewsChannel 6 searched through both Tucker and Johnson’s personnel files and found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

“He was never going to show what he was doing because he was never going to admit that actually happened. It was done behind closed doors,” said Tucker.

But, Tucker says she isn’t looking in the review mirror.

“Right now, I’m focused on the campaign. We’ve got all of our volunteers and we’re setting up all of our team and we’re trying to do some fundraising so we can get the signs. I have a timeline on how everything is going to play out,” said Tucker.

Tucker says she’s also listening to the concerns of the people who live in Columbia County which include traffic woes and wasteful spending.

“They want waste to be cut, quit the free spending because as the population grows, there’s going to be a time where people can’t afford to pay more taxes,” said Tucker.

If her Facebook page is any indication, she’s got a strong shot at winning.

Tucker says if she wins, she’ll be looking at each department and how they’re handled.

Tucker says she wants there to be total transparency between the community and county government, something she says is currently lacking.

NewsChannel 6 reached out to County Administrator Scott Johnson for comment on Tucker’s allegations but the county says it still can’t comment until the internal investigation is complete.

There’s no word on when the investigation will be wrapped up by the Internal Investigations Unit with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

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