Fired Columbia Co. employee told his termination was 'too severe'

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Friday, Oct. 26, 2012

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- The Columbia County Code Enforcement employee fired for allegedly going inside a home uninvited is now being told the action taken against him was "too excessive."

The Columbia County Civil Service Commission sent Jimmy Vowell this letter:
"After considerable and lengthy deliberation, we find that the termination was too severe. Given the circumstances of this case, we feel the action against you was too excessive. It is up to the county, but the Civil Service Commission recommends finding a position in another department and/or demotion."

Vowell appealed his firing in July. He was terminated after allegedly walking into Erica Masters' home after knocking on the door and then walking inside after no one answered.

"It scared me out of my mind," said Masters in a previous interview. "I had no idea who was standing at my doorway."

According to his personnel file, Vowell originally denied going into Masters' home. He was later fired for failure to follow policy and for making a false statement to a supervisor.

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