Commissioner Marion Williams: I wish Fred Russell was in the race for Mayor

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Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A day after the Former City Administrator of Augusta admits to News 12 that he deleted his work computer's hard drive, Fred Russell announced he is not running for Mayor.

Russell said he doesn't want the race to be about him and the city of Augusta deserves better. Most commission members believe it's good news for the city while others don't.

Russell had a big announcement on the Fattz and Cher Radio show.

"I am not going to run for Mayor. I think it would not be in the best interest of the city to do that," Russell said.

He never officially announced he would run, but just last week Russell took out a full page ad in the Urban Pro Weekly.

He also said he'd put together a campaign committee. Russell's departure from the race is getting mixed reaction from commissioners.

"I think it's a good thing for him and the city of Augusta," Commissioner Bill Lockett said.

"I think Fred is a pretty capable guy. He's probably been made some offers a lot of people don't know about," Commissioner Grady Smith said.

"It doesn't really affect me one way or the other. the bottom line is i'm concentrating on what I can do to try and become the next mayor of Augusta," Commissioner Alvin Mason said.

Commissioner Williams had been after Fred Russell's computer for years. He finally got it last week and Williams says it had been wiped clean.

"You know that doesn't deserve a comment from me, I don't care," Russell said.

Russell later said he cleaned the hard drive.

"Who is going to go after him destroying documents or something? I mean come on, when do you draw the line," Commissioner Joe Jackson said.

"It sort of makes one wonder, why would someone go through that trouble," Lockett said.

"Do you plan to delete your hard drive once you leave the mayor's office? I haven't even thought about that Ryan. I don't put out emails that I don't want people to see," Mayor Deke Copenhaver said.

Commissioners held a closed door legal meeting Tuesday afternoon. They discussed that some records could be retrieved from the hard drive.

Commissioner Williams wants to continue while others say it's a waste of time. Williams said he is sad Russell is out the race for Mayor.

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