Augusta mayor breaks silence on possible ethics violations

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, March 4, 2013

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (WRDW-TV)
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Three commissioners will learn their fate at the commission meeting.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver spoke out for the first time about commissioners working as subcontractors.

Should the money be paid back?

"I don't believe so. I think the work was done," Copenhaver said.

Commissioners Wayne Guilfoyle, Joe Jackson and Grady Smith, in his opinion, should not have to pay back any money earned working on city contracts.

Documents show all three combined were paid more than $300,000 in taxpayer funds.

"Before we talk about what we're going to do and not going to do, we need to look at all the facts of the matter and determine what is best going forward," Copenhaver said.

"I think you have already spoken with commissioners. They've admitted there may have been some wrong-doing. I think people deserve the right to a due process," Copenhaver said.

This isn't the first time a form of punishment has been dealt under Mayor Copenhaver's tenure. In 2007, Commissioner Calvin Holland was censured for ordering an employee to remove hardware from the city administrator's computer.

"It's comparing apples to oranges. In 2007, a commissioner put the censure on the commission agenda and six votes approved it. I had nothing to do with it," Copenhaver said.

The rules read one way while three commissioners admit to going in a different direction. Now its up to their peers which way things go from here.

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