As commission seeks GBI investigation into Sammie Sias, we're taking a look at the $150,000 in SPLOST funds Jamestown has received

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

At a news conference, Commissioner Sammie Sias admitted to a two-decade-long affair with a former employee. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta Commissioner Sammie Sias is taking heat on allegations centered around abusing children and taxpayer money.

We’ve since learned $150,000 in SPLOST money – your money – has gone to the community center Sias runs.

That’s part of what commissioners want the GBI to look into. City documents show money given to Jamestown over the years came without major oversight.

Those allegations are now beginning to shock district four.

“I hope they’re not true,” one resident said.

“I’m not embarrassed,” another resident said. “I’m just kind of, what would you say? Shocked.”

People are eager for an investigation to unfold.

“I know he’s retired military,” a resident said, “and should stand for a higher standard than what has been shown of him.”

We’ve been looking over city reports showing over the last five years that Commissioner Sias seems to be the only one in charge of the money at Jamestown -- $150,000 split in three lump sums. The checks were written out to Sandridge Association, the group over Jamestown that Sias manages.

In the reports, there are never any official estimates from contractors or vendors showing how much work will cost at Jamestown. Instead, there’s a letter attached – one Sias wrote. He lists work projects and what he says they will cost.

Based on the list, the city approved that $150,000 in SPLOST money.

Most commissioners now say this lack of checks and balances is the very reason for an investigation. Not to mention Commissioner Sias appointed his former lover to a lead role at the community center – something Augusta government’s “conflict of interest” rules strictly prohibit.

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