City leaders, ethics code don't mix

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A request to change Augusta's ethics code has uncovered others dealings some might even call shady.

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle admits his company has acted as a subcontractor with the city.

It's a direct violation of the city's code of ethics.

"I need to get off camera," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

Commissioners learned behind closed doors that some city leaders could be working as subcontractors on city contracts.

"We actually did an FBO at the airport," Guilfoyle said.

Commissioner Guilfoyle admits to doing business with the city while in office. His company Augusta Tile Crafters acted as a subcontractor and did work at the airport.

It's a direct violation of the code of ethics.

"The bidding process started before I came on board. I didn't hide anything from the media or any of my colleagues. I abstained on every issue," Guilfoyle said.

What he did not do was follow the rules -- "It shall be unethical for any Augusta-Richmond County Employee or public official to transact in any business or participate directly or indirectly in a procurement contract."

"I never did anything to justify me getting that contractor. I never walked on site. I also never talked to the general contractor," Guilfoyle said.

His company made a bid for $70,000 and won. It's raising eyebrows with other commissioners.

"There shouldn't be a single commissioner up here benefiting directly or indirectly dealing with government dollars," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"It is something that we got to deal with and correct," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

Sources say other elected leaders who own businesses could also be acting as a subcontractor.

We went by one commissioner's house, but there was no answer.

"The amount of money is not that much we make for a profit," Guilfoyle said.

Regardless of the amount, according to the code of ethics, it's still a conflict of interest.

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