The issue is what a commissioner can ask a city department head – or any other staff member reporting directly to the commission – to do.
Commissioner Grady Smith asked General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie last fall to draft an amendment to the city’s conflict of interest policy to allow commissioners and employees to work as subcontractors on city projects.
MacKenzie’s action on the item gave rise to the realization that Smith’s and two other commissioners’ companies had worked as subcontractors or contractors on Augusta-Richmond County projects, including work for the sheriff’s office, the 911 center, the Richmond County
Correctional Institute, Augusta Regional Airport and the utilities department.
Such requests extend beyond the law department and sometimes leave department heads scrambling to assemble information at a commissioner’s request.
According to MacKenzie, city laws are not clear on the matter.
Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson asked for “clarity” on what a commissioner can order department heads to do in an item he added to Monday's administrative services committee agenda.