Resigned environmental services director set to lose paycheck

Former Augusta Environmental Services Director Mark Johnson is set to lose his paycheck Tuesday.

 

Johnson submitted his resignation last week after City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson put him on leave with pay pending an investigation into employee use of government equipment at a private job site in Lincoln County. Upon resigning, Johnson asked the commission to give him severance pay available under 2011 city policy for senior executive staff members who resign – six months’ pay and benefits – and to erase references to the investigation from his file.

The commission voted 7-3 to accept Johnson’s resignation, waiving the three months’ notice he must give to receive severance pay, and cut his severance pay to three months.

As of Friday, however, Johnson had not signed a release accepting the settlement and waiving his right to sue, officials said.

General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie said federal laws give Johnson 21 days to sign the release due to his age.

Commissioner Sammie Sias is calling Tuesday for the commission to change Johnson’s status to administrative leave without pay due to him not executing his resignation “within a timely manner.” Sias did not respond to a reporter’s requests for comment.

Commissioner Dennis William said if Johnson doesn’t accept the commission’s terms, “we may have to terminate.”

Jackson’s investigation was ongoing as of Friday when she posted comments about it on Facebook.

In other matters, the commission has a called 1:30 p.m. meeting with attorneys to discuss personnel issues. At 2 p.m. Lincoln County resident Al Gray, who lives in the same remote area and sent photos of the equipment and Johnson to law enforcement, is scheduled to speak to the commission.

Commissioner Marion Williams has called for the commission to formally request an investigation of the equipment matter by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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