News 12 at 6 o'clock / Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Waynesboro Police Department recently lost its chief, and some members of the city council aren't happy about it.
Two council members say there was a way to keep Chief Alfonzo Williams, but others on the council didn't want that.
Councilwomen Brenda Lewis and Portia Washington say they were blindsided.
The reason why? Because the chief wasn't offered an opportunity to stay, they say he would have brought transparency and some officials would have been scared of that.
"I really don't know what happened that night. I feel like I was hoodwinked," Lewis said.
And by hoodwinked, she means blindsided, but not just by one person.
"It's a combination. I think it's a trio. I called it a two-man show, but now, I'm going to call it a three-man show," Lewis said.
And Lewis says the three-man show is made up of her own colleagues.
"Our mayor, our city administrator and our city attorney," Lewis said.
Her counterpart, Washington, agrees. She adds there are two reasons why those members didn't want the chief to stay or be promoted to the assistant city administrator.
"Accountability and transparency. We saw how the chief came in and turned it around for the police department, and we were looking for that same turn around for the City of Waynesboro," Washington said.
Washington says that the chief would have been able to put a stop to what she believes were shady practices.
"Bottom line, I don't know if we could've found money that's already under the bridge, but it would have stopped the bleeding," Washington said.
But that's not the only reason. Both women say that the arrest of the mayor's brother is what kept the mayor from fighting to keep the chief.
"We got people with personal agendas, personal motives, and they are carrying them out," Washington said.
However, they both agree the lack of trust between colleagues is the main reason the chief is gone.
"Not only would he have carried us to where we need to be as a city, but he would've brought more transparency to city administration," Lewis said.
Lewis says the excuse that the chief left only because of salary is crazy.
"It wasn't about $93,000 in Augusta. We offered him $80,000 that he would've stayed here for," Lewis said.
The mayor couldn't meet with News 12 due to a previously planned family engagement, but she says neither of the councilwomen are accurate.
Mayor Pauline Jenkins says there is no problem between her and the chief. She says they have both talked about the arrest, and she made it clear to the chief she had no problem with him. She says that the arguments made by both women is just sad -- especially for the people of Waynesboro.