City leaders react to no indictments in Equipment-gate

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) In its presentation the Richmond County Grand Jury says there was absolutely no evidence of criminal intent with the use of a city excavator on private property in Lincoln County.

“I think it’s time we move on I think that 17 people citizens came to the same conclusion no criminal evidence there,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

“Commissioner Frantom says it’s over let’s move on.”

“Well that’s Commissioner Frantom I mean the people I represent I represent half of this city want to know what happened and want to make sure it didn’t happen again,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

And though the grand jury did not find criminal intent it did write that it was concerning that city employees were being paid to work jobs on private property outside of Augusta, in violation of city policy.

“Well we need to look closer at operations basically do a conscience effort making sure are handled and ran the way they should be ran,” said Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.

“Maybe we need to put some teeth into it and let’s discuss what solutions I mean the Administrator she is the leader of this city we pay here 187 thousand dollars I want to hear what she has to say about what we can do better in the future,” said Commissioner Frantom.

“The policy is already in place I don’t think there’s a policy that says it’s okay to take equipment out” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The Grand Jury report ends any criminal wrong doing into the misuse of city equipment but this isn’t satisfying for   everyone.

Something is seriously wrong the more they don’t want to look at it makes me want to look at it,” said Commissioner Williams.

“People are going to continue speculate there’s a cover up peculate we did something wrong that national level is coming straight down to the local level that’s why you will continue to hear about this,” said Commissioner Frantom.

By taking the equipment out of Augusta and onto private property it does seem  clear that the landfill employees violated county policy, and  the grand jury acknowledged that it its presentation, but writing we are not task with enforcing county policies and procedures.

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