Landfill Director resigns amidst equipment probe

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Mark Johnson has resigned as landfill Director, because city equipment in his care was take and used out of Augusta.

“It’s county property its county equipment everybody now a days has a cell phone and I pad or whatever and people are watching,” said Commissioner Grady Smith.

The equipment an excavator and a trailer were found on private property in Lincoln County back in March, spotted by a neighbor, activist Al Gray.

“Well I was astounded some ethically challenged Augusta people decided to come and play in my back yard,” said Gray.

Gray called the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; it investigated interviewing Johnson as well as landfill employees, who used the equipment,

“When equipment goes from this county to another county and staff to do work I want to know the reason behind that,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

“He shouldn’t have had access to the equipment I’ve got to wait until I hear a final report from the Administrator before I what actually took place,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Commissioners were scheduled to discuss the equipment during their meeting but instead voted to go behind closed doors in a legal session.

Last year Johnson was suspended for thirty days for getting a 16 thousand dollar pay raise with it being approved by the administrator or commission; however Johnson at the time said it was the Administrator’s office that failed to follow up with the proper paper work.

Following the legal session commissioners voted accept his resignation and to grant Johnson three months’ severance pay, as long as he signs a voluntary separation agreement.

As a long time department director under city policy Johnson could have been eligible to up to six months’ severance.

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