Commissioner Mason slams $1M settlement as sign city is 'loose on the purse strings'

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A deadly fire has led to a $1,250,000 settlement.

Augusta commissioners agreed to pay the $1,250,000 to settle a pending lawsuit that dates back to August 2006. The suit claims an Augusta employee failed to perform the reconnect inspection on a mobile home in compliance with Augusta procedures.

Ryan Holt, 18, and Michelle Borror, 20, died of smoke inhalation weeks after the suit claims a city worker failed to make sure the mobile home had functional smoke detectors.

Commissioner Alvin Mason voted against the settlement.

"I just think we are a little bit loose on the purse strings," he said. "It's time that we tighten up. Everybody is talking about suing. They looking at Augusta-Richmond County and they see the deep pockets."

Mason says it is not clear where the money will come from to cover the settlement.

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