Cheek calls for censure of Holland over computer search request

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April 30, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---We may see a heated debate in the Augusta Commission chamber tomorrow. One commissioner is planning to call out another, accusing him of breaking a big rule.

Andy Cheek wants Calvin Holland reprimanded for ordering a search of the city administrator's computer without the Commission's approval.

Holland says that as a commissioner, he has a right to investigate anything pertaining to the city, but some of his Commission colleagues say he has to get their approval first. Now he may be called out for not doing that.

"It really has surprised me and somewhat disappointing for Andy to take this particular measure," Holland said.

Cheek has requested Holland be reprimanded by the full board.

Holland ordered a city employee to search the hard drive on city administrator Fred Russell's computer while Russell was on vacation just over week ago. Holland says he suspected the administrator was been doing business for his personal company on city time on this city computer.

"I think I was angry," Russell told News 12. "I know I was angry."

Russell says he has nothing to hide.

Holland never got access to the computer, but says he violated no rules by ordering the search.

"I as a commissioner have a right to request that information, and that's exactly what I did," he said.

But Cheek says Holland should have gotten the consent of the Commission first. That's why he wants Holland censured. In a statement to News 12, Cheek says:

"Calvin (Holland) needs to grow up. He's broken the rules. This is not personal. This is business. The problem with Calvin is his ego is always getting in the way."

As for what, if any, punishment Holland should face, Russell says he'll leave that to the politicians.

"I said over and over, I don't do politics. It's a decision for the Commission to make"

"I don't know what the other commissioners are going to do," Holland said. "I don't know how they are going to vote, but I'm going to be as positive as I can."

Regardless of what happens, Holland says he does not plan to apologize, saying he did nothing wrong.

This is likely to bring up a bigger debate tomorrow over whether commissioners should be able to make some decisions or give orders without six votes.

There have been mixed feelings in the rest of the Commission. Some commissioners, like Marion Williams, say Holland did nothing wrong. The mayor was not happy with Holland's actions. Don Grantham told us today he's waiting to hear both sides of the story.

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