Harsher punishments could be on the way for elected leaders

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, March 25, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Next week, commissioners could decide to change the punishment for elected leaders who do business with the city. Recently, three Augusta commissioners were censured.

Some believe there needs to be stricter rules, while others say leave the consequences just like they are.

"I say let each punishment fit the crime. If we are criminals, how in the hell did we get elected up here?" said Commissioner Grady Smith.

Smith is upset about the conflicts of interest issue.

Others are now calling the recent censure of the three Augusta commissioners just a slap on the wrist.

"I've received several calls from people in the community who feel that censure is not a severe enough consequence," said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

"I said I didn't think so, but I think this has turned into a race issue," Smith said.

The race card was pulled again -- this time by Smith. Recently, Smith, along with Commissioners Joe Jackson and Wayne Guilfoyle, were censured for their company's roles in city work.

"Mr. Fennoy, he just gets here, and now all of a sudden, he wants to make these rules. I don't know if he can trust himself or whatever," Smith said.

"Most of the ones that I talk to would like to see the violators at least resign from their position," Fennoy said.

"When something comes up, instead of looking for a way to correct and make things better, why do we have people saying how bad can we slap somebody with a wet rag?" Smith said.

It'll take six commissioners working together to change the city's code of ethics.

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