Grovetown chief returns to work after suspension

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 3:33 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 2:10 AM
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Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens returned to work Monday after two days of suspension for how he handled the escape of two inmates last month.

Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens returned to work Monday after two days of suspension for how he handled the escape of two inmates last month.  FILE/JIM BLAYLOCK
FILE/JIM BLAYLOCK
Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens returned to work Monday after two days of suspension for how he handled the escape of two inmates last month.

City officials suspended Owens without pay on Thursday and Friday, according to Mayor George James.

“He created a hostile work environment for his employees by his actions,” James said. “He hindered the operation of recovering the two escapees.”

Owens had no comment.

Michael Alexander Davis, 24, of Augusta, and Joshua Michael Gray, 21, of Grovetown, were arrested July 25 for misdemeanor probation and traffic offenses. They were discovered to be missing from their jail cellblock at the department’s detention center about 8:20 p.m.

Owens said after the escape that a jailer didn’t properly close a door leading from the block to the yard. The men took off their jail-issue jumpsuits, got into the yard, and manipulated fencing and poles to escape.

“His department had everything under control and was doing everything possible to recover the two men who escaped,” James said. “When Chief Owens arrived on the scene, it became pure chaos. As the chief, he needs to make sure he is in control of himself so he can take control of the situation. In this case, he was not in control of himself or the operation.”

James said officers were delayed from obtaining warrants until more than five hours after the escape. The men, who ran to Gray’s mother’s Grovetown home, were caught the next morning trying to check into a motel in Augusta.

During an internal investigation into the escape, several of Owens’ staffers came forward with accusations of his creating a hostile work environment, James said.

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AFjoe
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AFjoe 08/12/14 - 03:56 pm
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Laugh-In

Gary Owens should have kept his night job on TV.

fatboyhog
1948
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fatboyhog 08/12/14 - 08:01 pm
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"He hindered the operation of recovering the two escapees.”

Really? Not buying that. Would the mayor expound on that? What caused the delay in the issuance of warrants? Could the mayor expound on that as well? Hostile work environment? Based on what? Is it systematic? Has anyone ever accused the chief of creating a hostile work environment before? Has the chief been reprimanded before? One incident makes a "hostile work environment?" Sounds to me like someone got in trouble and was being taken to task for allowing the escape. If that's the case, someone is in the wrong line of work. Maybe the mayor is worried that Chief Owens is trying to run an efficient and professional agency. It looks like the Grovetown leadership is kin to the Augusta leadership. A circus lead by clowns. I hope it's too late for the Cyber Command School to realize they may have made a mistake by relocating here.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 08/12/14 - 08:57 pm
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I don't know why, but

I don't know why, but something just doesn't seem right about this.

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