News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Public Safety employees were making some noise at the Richmond County Board of Education this morning, but instead of clapping, they were complaining.
Assistant Superintendent Tim Spivey confirms a grievance has been filed in regards to a promotion within the BOE's Public Safety Department.
News 12 is waiting for a copy of the actual grievance. We tried to get it today, but were told we needed to file an open records request, so we did. In the meantime, this is what we know.
It was all cheers back in February when Alfonzo Williams took the job as Public Safety Chief in Richmond County, but today some are singing a different tune.
School Board Member Jack Padgett confirms, "Some of the employees are certainly concerned about the testing."
He's talking about testing that was part of an application for a promotion to Lieutenant within the BOE's Public Safety Department.
"As it turns out, he gave a written test, and that wasn't authorized by the board," Padgett said.
Padgett says written tests used to be allowed, but under the new policy are not.
"It was an old policy, and I don't know why the Chief didn't have an updated policy, but that was not allowed. So, we have to start over now," he said.
Assistant Superintendent Tim Spivey confirms he met with several disgruntled employees this morning, and they filed a grievance. We filed an open records request and should have a copy soon, but according to Padgett, the complaints were related to the promotion process.
"Supposedly he's brought a new person in that he had worked with before. Some of the people in the system were wondering why they weren't getting the chance for it," Padgett explained.
Spivey says the promotions were supposed to happen about 3 weeks ago, but with a grievance on file, all promotions are on hold.
Now, it's about making a recommendation and creating a new policy. In essence, they're going back to the beginning.
"I think they'll just start over with filling this position and doing interviews and all," Padgett said.
Spivey says the process when a grievance is filed includes listening to all the people who have a complaint and then determining whether there's any validity to it. He says in this case, he's still figuring everything out but says he should make a recommendation to the Superintendent by Monday.
We did reach out to Public Safety Chief Alfonzo Williams but have not heard back.
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