Augusta mayor defends illegal park on Broad Street, and also responds on Facebook to recent report on threats

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Monday, May 13, 2019

The photo, posted on the Augusta Political Watch Facebook page, generated over 300 comments. (Source: Facebook)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. has taken heat on social media as of late due to a photo posted on an Augusta political Facebook page.

The picture appears to show Davis' Chevrolet Tahoe parked illegally on a curb in downtown Augusta.

"Must be nice to park illegally at 5:00 on Broad St., Mr. Mayor!!" the post reads.

Many commenters, including the original poster, begin to discuss the car and, of course, wade into the debate over whether or not Davis' car should have an official decal displayed.

The Augusta-Richmond County Commission recently voted 6-4 to remove the decal from Davis' car. According to Davis, he and members of his staff have been threatened several times. As a result, he doesn't want the decal on the SUV for safety reasons.

In a March 19 commission meeting, Davis made reference to several specific threats.

“On more than one occasion -- the Marshal can attest to this -- we've had someone come into this building who has not only threatened my life, but the life of my staff,” Davis said.

But we checked the Marshal's Office and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Neither had any specific threats to the mayor on file.

Back to the Facebook post. Davis himself took to the thread to defend his reasons for parking on the curb.

Davis claimed he was attending the grand opening of Augusta & Co and was not using his "privileged" status to usurp the parking laws.

He continued to defend himself from other commenters and even responded to a recent report from News 12 about the specific threats he says he's received.

"Regarding the threats (I never talk about things that didn't happen or as the lazy media would suggest I lied about). #WaitForIt #WinterIsHere," Davis wrote.

We have attempted to ask Davis about these specific threats, but he has not issued an official comment.

Davis continued in the thread.

"[A]nyone stuck on a decal (the law provides for an exemption, the law also says inform the public of the exemption through a hearing which was conducted). The city is following the law. Moreover, every previous Mayor who had a city vehicle was also exempted," Davis wrote. "This is not new. It's just bartering in sensational journalism at best by aspirational reporters and a few who hide behind social media."

The mayor, and others, continued the discussion about not only the car, but the potential of metered parking on Broad Street.

We got an opportunity to speak with the mayor directly on these issues Monday. Davis asked us to clarify if his office had received a request for a statement from us. We had asked through e-mail.

"I'm going to do my job," Davis said, "and my team is going to be briefing me on only only the e-mail that you sent, but on the information that we have and at the appropriate time, we're going to call you, we're going to give you the appropriate opportunity to come sit down and talk with me."

Davis would also not comment on his remarks on calling the media "lazy."

"I'm going to talk about all that then," Davis said.

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