Augusta Equal Employment Opportunity director could be demoted

Augusta’s equal employment opportunity director is in the hot seat, as commissioners try to demote her from department head to coordinator, answering to the city’s Human Resources director.


EEO Director Jacqueline Humphrey, who did not return a call seeking comment, recently filed complaints against two city attorneys with the state Bar Association, several Augusta commissioners confirmed.

Commissioner Marion Williams said the commission did not authorize Humphrey to file the complaints, against General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie and staff attorney Jody Smitherman, but connected the subsequent push to demote her – one he disagrees with – to her decision to file them.

“It’s a game,” Williams said.

Human Resources Director Tanika Bryant recommended at last week’s Administrative Services committee meeting that – based on a job audit – Humphrey’s title should be changed to “coordinator” and the position placed under Human Resources.

In the same agenda item, Bryant said Augusta’s disadvantaged business enterprise coordinator should be placed in the procurement department.

The two positions, EEO and DBE, were combined in Augusta’s Consolidation Act, but Bryant said few candidates hold both skill sets and most comparable counties classify them separately, under HR and Procurement.

“We’ve got a position now that we cannot find anyone who has such broad expertise,” Commissioner Bill Lockett said last week.

Humphrey’s response to the agenda item, which moved forward last week without a recommendation, was a set of questions for Bryant. The questions, obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, included how the audit was performed, what counties were used for comparison and whether Bryant omitted steps, such as visiting Humphrey’s work station, included in a standard job classification audit.

“Why did you not pass on your conclusion and recommendations to Mr. Lockett, so he in turn would pass that information on to me” rather than announce findings in an open session, Humphrey asked.

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Urban Redevelopment Agency to meet with commissioners to discuss bond controversy
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In other business Tuesday, commissioners will consider:

• Allocating $200,000 for a first phase of demolition of approximately 40 blighted and abandoned properties across several commission districts

• Authorizing the mayor to execute Federal Aviation Administration grants sought in 2014 with expedited deadlines

• Approving spending $74,380 for tree abatement and pruning at Riverwalk Augusta

• Eliminating a requirement that city department heads, also known as Senior Executive Staff, clock in and out

• Seeking department-level funding to raise the salaries of four or five department directors, including Procurement Director Geri Sams, to market rates or rates on par with other department heads

• Drafting a resolution in support of the state legislature making floodplain mapping in Augusta a priority. The maps mistakenly classify many homeowners as within a floodplain, driving their insurance rates up, according to city Development Administrator Terri Turner



Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

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