Augusta Interfaith Coalition wants censured commissioners to step down

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, March 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- More fallout over three Augusta commissioners doing business with the city. There's finger-pointing, blame and even punishments, this time from members of the Augusta Interfaith Coalition.

"I know where my heart lies. My heart lies with the good Lord to do the right thing," said Commissioner Wayne Guifoyle.

Apologies abound but overall, will things really change?

"I'm still going to show up at the house when the coroner has to get them out," Commissioner Joe Jackson said.

"So you're still going to do work with the city?" asked News 12's Ryan Houston.

"If I have to do it for free, yeah, I will do it," Jackson said.

"No, I'm not. Every job I've done, I'm the lowest bidder. I'm a subcontractor," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

The commission voted to officially reprimand Commissioners Guilfoyle, Jackson and Smith for breaking the city's ethics code and doing business with the city.

The punishment wasn't enough for Rev. Chris Johnson and The Augusta Interfaith Coalition.

"If it had been a black person, Hispanic or Asian, they would be in jail," Rev. Johnson said.

His group wants the commissioners involved to step down and repay all money. The demands continue.

"We are also asking if they don't do it, we will turn it over to the state ethics board and let them handle it," Johnson said.

Commissioners Jackson and Guilfoyle say their businesses have completed all city projects. Commissioner Smith's company is still involved in what some are calling a lengthy contract.

"I can look you in the eye and say anybody that I've ever taken money from illegally, I'll pay him off right now," Smith said.

"Mr. Smith has to make a decision with his family, from a business standpoint, is it worth it for him to sit up here and make $14,000 or making $250,000 on business with Fort Gordon?" said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

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