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Azziz seeks independent review of use of GRU resources at family wedding

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:36 PM
Last updated Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:37 AM
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Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz has asked the state university system to conduct an independent review of the use of state resources for a family wedding held at his home.

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Ricardo Azziz said the patrol car and shuttle bus cost $416.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Ricardo Azziz said the patrol car and shuttle bus cost $416.

Azziz asked University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby for an “impartial assessment” of the issues and actions connected with the Saturday wedding, which was held for his niece at the president’s home at 920 Milledge Road.

“Due to the questions raised around use of university resources in conjunction with a wedding held at the University President’s Home, I have requested an impartial review by the University System of Georgia,” Azziz said in a prepared statement released late Wednesday. “My team and I will make every effort to support the System in their assessment.”

It was unclear Wednesday how such a review will be conducted.

John Millsaps, the spokesman for the university system, did not return calls Tuesday and Wednesday seeking comment about the situation.

The call for a review comes after a Tuesday story in The Augusta Chronicle about the wedding. University officials acknowledged the use of state resources at the event and said the Azziz family planned to reimburse the state $416 for the use of a marked patrol car and a university system shuttle bus to ferry guests from the hotel to the event and to other locations. Four GRU police officers also worked as security for the wedding.

University spokeswoman Christen Carter said she was originally told the police officers volunteered their time at the wedding, which amounted to a combined total of 20 hours off-the-clock work.

In response to questions about whether the officers should have been paid, Carter said she was informed Wednesday that the four state employees – GRU Police Chief Bill McBride, Maj. Eugene Maxwell, Lt. Derik Still and Officer Peter Barbara – were paid in cash by the bride and groom.

Later it was determined that Barbara – a nonexempt employee who is paid by the hour – should have been paid through the university payroll system, and the matter was corrected, Carter said.

McBride said he wasn’t aware that Barbara wasn’t eligible to work off the clock at the event. He said after he was informed about the pay situation, he arranged to have Barbara paid by his normal hourly rate, plus any overtime he was owed for the 5.75 hours he worked at the wedding.

Carter said the other three officers are salaried employees and exempt from overtime rules for such events.

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WAG
287
Points
WAG 04/25/13 - 06:43 am
5
1
Chronicle please stay on this

Chronicle please stay on this story! Who does this arrogant self rightous man think he is??? Above the rules of course! Fire him! that is what would happen to the peon employee! Get him a bus out of here
!

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 04/25/13 - 07:38 am
5
1
Other State Resources Used?

The wedding band played until after 10:00pm Saturday night, which begs the question, who paid for the PA system setup and the building of the bandstand? Other typical wedding expenses are the flowers, a tent, the food, drinks, table decorations, lots of sundries. We as taxpayers should require that the "impartial review" be a complete audit of the costs of the wedding, in answer to the article's statement, "It was unclear Wednesday how such a review will be conducted."

The bigger picture, as gargoyle says, is for the University System to extend the audit to his discretionary use of the 2 Foundations' monies he can tap, as it is clear from his past decision making that he feels he is above the law, and that budgeting and fiscal responsibility does not apply to the office of the King.

If the "impartial review" is short on details, "wink wink", that fact will just reinforce that the BOR is just part of the conspiracy.

...point to ponder
779
Points
...point to ponder 04/25/13 - 07:00 am
5
1
Any other government....

Any other government employee who committed this type of 'crime' would be fired.
Azziz is a government employee and needs to be held accountable for his actions as would any other.
This offense is one that gets a person fired .
If the BOR does not take action which they otherwise would take for any other state employee under their governance then they are worthless.

It will only prove for certain that Azziz is here to do the bidding of the BOR and we as citizens are not being given any consideration in the process.

*i still want to know why the BOR hired this person? It shows that the BOR really is not as smart as they' should be. A very embarrassing choice.

gaptomom
143
Points
gaptomom 04/25/13 - 07:13 am
6
1
Why security?

I'd hate to know that I needed 4 security officers at my wedding in little old "not cool" Augusta. Not only has Dr. A damaged 2 great Augusta institutions, he has now put a dark cloud over what should have been a happy day for the couple. Maybe his wedding gift to them will be laminated copies of the front page stories about their wedding.

julie123
43
Points
julie123 04/25/13 - 07:13 am
8
1
Swept under the rug

is what will happen with this. I foresee that happening, but I hope not. And, I agree with above--if all of that can be obtained for just $416, then by all mans, publish that contact info so us peons can take advantage of it! Every time I see or hear his name, it is always something bad for the area. Bad press or just ill feelings? Not sure, but I seem to have a bad taste in my mouth every time his name comes up. Too bad the bride and groom have to endure the publicity as well. Can we send Dr. Azziz up north? Would any of the schools up that way be in need of a President?

saywhatagain
413
Points
saywhatagain 04/25/13 - 07:16 am
6
1
Little Eddie was naughty

So Eddie asks Herman for an "impartial assessment" of his actions. Now what's Herman Munster going to do? Feed him to Spot? I doubt it. We'd have a better shot with Lily.

Riverman1
90855
Points
Riverman1 04/25/13 - 07:19 am
9
1
$416 Payment Represents Arrogance

The $416 payment represents more arrogance. We all know that's not a realistic payment for the services he received. This thing snowballs.

LillyfromtheMills
14101
Points
LillyfromtheMills 04/25/13 - 07:26 am
5
1
I agree

With Darby

BamaMan
2637
Points
BamaMan 04/25/13 - 07:44 am
7
1
Reimburse?

Intent to reimburse? If this man was an above-the-board, upstanding, honest man, he would have NEVER even entertained the thought of using state ANYTHING for personal use. The thought should've never entered his mind! Another sponge soaking up taxpayer money. We shouldn't HAVE to squeeze that sponge to get our money back.

littlebit345
18
Points
littlebit345 04/25/13 - 07:49 am
7
1
WHY IS He Above Everyone.........

He gets do whatever he want whenever he want nothing has remain the same at the instituions since he has arrived. Everyday employee would not have the option so why does he. Where was was the committee at when they need a vote on his personal use of GRU transportation.

littlebit345
18
Points
littlebit345 04/25/13 - 07:53 am
7
1
416

If the cost was only $416 then he should have been able to rent one for the same price without using GRU. You are the President so $416 should not be a problem...........you took youtitle to far

BamaMan
2637
Points
BamaMan 04/25/13 - 09:25 am
4
1
He knew

this was wrong, at the very least surely not above board. If it smells, it's probably rotten. Yes, he knew, hence there's surely liability.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
10203
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/25/13 - 09:34 am
5
1
On The Hill

I'm with On The Hill. What monies paid for all the other things connected with this event? How were these things purchased? Was it through the Colleges Vendors and Accounts?
This man has become a bigger embarrassment than Marion Williams!!!

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 04/25/13 - 10:55 am
0
0
So everyone that works at GRU
Unpublished

So everyone that works at GRU (wow what a moniker) and every resource it owns is at the disposal of Azziz for his personal use? This guy's unbelievably smitten with a dictator's sense of empowerment.

dichotomy
36355
Points
dichotomy 04/25/13 - 12:06 pm
4
1
Hey Azizz......you want an

Hey Azziz......you want an independent review? You're guilty of using your position and power for personal use and financial gain. That's MY independent review.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 04/25/13 - 03:32 pm
1
0
Who's going to pay for this

Who's going to pay for this review...?

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 04/25/13 - 04:01 pm
1
0
Get rid of the house!

Why are we, the taxpayers, furnishing Azziz a place to live in the first place? Years ago the president of Augusta College lived on campus but the state did away with that program. Azziz really and truly lives like the king he thinks he is - morning, noon and night! Stop the madness! Sell the house and let the medical school's president live among the rest of us.

JENNPAT
242
Points
JENNPAT 04/25/13 - 07:31 pm
0
0
what kind of wedding was this

that they needed a shuddle bus and needed some one to keep them safe? this is crazy Azziz just nees to pay the money for what ever services that was used.and the just needs to leave Augusta and let our medical school get back to where it was.he thought he could come here and change everything the way he want's them well he is not from Georgia and we do have plently of sense even though he thinks we don't. so just leave good old Augusta and let us be

JENNPAT
242
Points
JENNPAT 04/25/13 - 07:39 pm
0
0
a mouth full

yeah carereader you said a mouth full Azziz just needs to leave good old Augusta and let us go on with what we know that is best for us.we did not need him to come here and think he could change everything to suit him.we where doing fine before he came

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