Confusing motion leads some to believe Mayor was new administrator

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News12 at 11 o'clock/ Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- An Augusta Commissioner is calling for the City Attorney to be fired after a confusing vote.

Commisioners voted to give Mayor Deke Copenhaver, and Commissioner Corey Johnson the power to run the city if Deputy Administrator Tanika Allen was out.

Williams says the wording was wrong and the attorney still allowed the confusion to continue. Commissioner Bill Lockett and outgoing City Administrator Fred Russell share a laugh over a confusing motion.

It even made some commissioners think Mayor Deke Copenhaver was the Interim City Administrator.

"It was a misleading motion. It was confusing. I told them in legal that it would do this," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

Williams abstained while nine others voted yes on the motion.

Mayor Copenhaver even tweeted:

Williams blames Attorney Andrew Mackenzie for the confusion.

"Andrew has failed a lot of different times. I put a no vote of confidence on him and so did Bill Lockett. He has not stepped up to the plate," said Williams.

Officials say Deputy Aministrator Tanika Allen and retired Planning Director George Patty were offered the interim spot but neither have committed.

"I want somebody who will say put me in the game coach. She's got some reserves and I don't blame her," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

"I think the other person George Patty name came up. He said the same thing. Patty didn't want to come in with a diverse group. He's not going to get 100 percent. So maybe they don't want the position," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

After Russell leaves at the end of the year, Allen will be in charge of day-to-day operations. The mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem Corey johnson will only have power on days when Allen is out of the office.

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