Commissioners meet concerning Parks and Rec allegations

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

Augusta commissioners are still looking into claims of discrimination and harassment in the city's Recreation and Parks Department.

City leaders met about this ongoing investigation this afternoon.

Augusta's Recreation and Parks Department is one of the largest departments, and they've had a pretty large microscope over them.

City leaders met as part of an ongoing investigation after complaints of discrimination, harassment, and mismanaging of city funds.

Most of the complaints have been allegations in the form of grievances, which some commissioners say, are continuing to pour in.

And most of them blame department head Tom Beck for the problem.

But before city leaders could tackle those issues, there was something else to address.

Should Tom Beck be allowed in the meetings, since they are public?

Beck previously expressed an interest in attending and even showed up to one meeting. He was asked to leave by Commissioner Marion Williams.

Commissioner Andy Cheek says that's not fair.

"I feel it's the fair thing to do, to allow people who work for us for 30 years to be present when their performance or any other aspect of their employment is being called into question," he said.

"We're not doing anything in secret," said Williams. "You're here, the news media is here, so everybody knows what's going on. But he don't need to be sitting here facing everybody until we got something to really go on."

We did ask city leaders if they were in violation of Sunshine laws.

Last year department head Teresa Smith was being questioned about her job performance.

She was allowed in all the meetings, and was eventually fired.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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