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Jamestown community reacts to Commissioner Sias’ indictment

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Sammie Sias’ first court date is still not yet set as of this evening. But with an official indictment, he will be arrested at some point in the coming days by U.S. marshals. He may be allowed to turn himself in at the federal courthouse to be booked before his first appearance in front of a judge.

We talked to neighbors of Sias in Jamestown and found shockwaves are still being felt across Augusta.

We talked with several people in his neighborhood today. They remembered the allegations and investigation against him back in 2019, but still, yesterday’s announcement left many of them wondering how it got to this point.

The center on Sammies Sias lane is quiet.

“Its was really nice, it was new. And the children went up to the Jamestown Community Center. That’s where they went to play basketball,” said a neighbor.

Allegations against the center’s former director Commissioner Sammies Sias had neighbors talking then and now.

Today we talked to several people who live near the center. Many of them have had a front-row seat to how Sias ran the center for over 10 years. Some said he ran and cared for the center as if it was his own home. Others say things weren’t all that great.

“He just wasn’t a very nice person. And all the other children really didn’t like to go up there because of him,” said a neighbor.

The woman we spoke to over the phone said her children were constantly reprimanded by Sias.

“I wasn’t there when he would say things but they would come home and say ‘Mom, Mr. Sais said this, Mr. Sias said we have to go home, Mr. Sias said we can’t play on the swings, Mr. Sias said we can’t play basketball,’ It was always something with Mr. Sias,” she said.

The investigation that led to the two federal charges started after the women Sias had a 20-year affair with alleged he mishandled funds and mistreated children at the center.

Were you surprised to hear those allegations?

“Not not at all *laughs* no I wasn’t surprised,” she said.

Surprised or not the neighborhood is eager to see what happens next.

Commissioner Sias lives just a few minutes away from the center. We spoke to some people in his neighborhood too and they were also surprised by the charges. As for the calls for the audit that will likely happen the week after next. The last call for an audit was for the full city government they’re still working out whether this new request would be narrowed down at all.

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