Melquan Robinson would have been 13 this week, so how has the city responded to his death in regard to Fleming Park?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Melquan Robinson, 12, pictured here, was killed last fall when he came into contact with a fence that electrocuted him. (Source: Robinson Family)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Melquan Robinson would have been 13 years old on July 27.

“I feel him from time to time,” said Robinson’s grandmother. “That’s how I get through. I feel his presence.”

Back in February, Augusta leaders approved an emergency motion to immediately fix wiring at Fleming Park where Robinson died after he made contact with a fence that was charged with electrical current.

“They will have certainty in knowing that this government has done the right thing,” Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. said in February.

But that wasn’t done. We found that no one has repaired or replaced it.

We asked the city for any and all proof from documents to agreements of 2019 repair work done at Fleming. We received two items: an e-mail exchange and a contract.

First, the e-mail says the then-city administrator met with the consultant firm, JLA, the first week of March. JLA works as an indepent contractor for Augusta.

The meeting was to "ensure that all improvements take place." But we confirmed while JLA does work for the city, it does not provide or even offer any type of wiring or lighting services.

We checked with that firm. They were hired in 2018 for a different park project. Then, after Robinson’s death, they say they gave the city estimates on who could do new wiring at Fleming.

We reached out to the city through the legal team and the parks and recreation department. They tell us they cannot talk about the Fleming issues.

But with public parks, doesn’t the public have the rights to an explanation?

Parks and recreation officials say they hope to discuss with commissioners in the weeks ahead. For now, the power is still turned off and Fleming remains closed.

An outside law firm is representing the city of Augusta in this case, but so far, a lawsuit has not yet been filed.

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