Financial impropriety alleged in lawsuit against city and airport director

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 4:44 PM
Last updated 9:02 PM
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The former finance director at Augusta Regional Airport has filed suit alleging she was fired for refusing to violate the law and city ordinances governing purchasing.

The Richmond County Superior Court petition filed Nov. 26 seeks restitution and income that Tammy Strange contends she would have received but for the illegal conduct of the defendants – the city of Augusta and airport Director Gary Letellier.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute. The city will have time to file a response before any court hearing is scheduled.

According to county employee data, Strange was hired in January 2001. According to the legal petition for mandamus – a request to force the government to abide by its duty or to restore the plaintiff’s rights or privileges – LeTellier fired Strange on Jan. 13, 2012. Strange contends the reasons for the dismissal cited by the director were untrue.

The real reason she was terminated, according to the petition, was that she refused to bypass the airport and the city commissions to contract for information technology services.

Strange further contends LeTellier instructed her to transfer $800,000 to Marshal Steve Smith but she refused because it would violate the airport’s grant assurances and the requirement that such a transfer had to be approved by the administrator and the finance director.

The marshal’s office has several duties, including providing security at Augusta Regional.

Strange served in several management positions at the airport, including interim director in 2007.

LeTellier was hired as director in January 2010.

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Shortcomment
1163
Points
Shortcomment 12/03/13 - 06:50 pm
4
0
Promises to be an expensive case win or lose.

If it is fake, I would say, do not settle the case under the table
just to save some money on legal bills. It just sends the wrong
message to the Local Sharks.

billcass
800
Points
billcass 12/03/13 - 09:40 pm
0
0
Clarify?

According to the article Gary Letellier is suing herself.

Dixieman
14972
Points
Dixieman 12/03/13 - 10:00 pm
4
0
Interesting case

"Gary Letellier contends she would have received but for the illegal conduct of the defendants – the city of Augusta and airport Director Gary Letellier." So Gary Letellier is suing Gary Letellier. Hmmm.
"Roses are red;
"Violets are blue;
"I'm schizophrenic
"And so am I."

GnipGnop
12241
Points
GnipGnop 12/03/13 - 10:22 pm
3
0
The city will settle.....

they always do....maybe she can get a commissioner or two to testify on her behalf...happened before

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/03/13 - 11:49 pm
6
0
Airport Authority

How does the Airport Authority fit into all this? Shouldn't they be the ones to approve the expenditures?

Marinerman1
4856
Points
Marinerman1 12/04/13 - 09:46 am
1
0
If What She Says Is True...

If during the investigation phase, what she says is true, then Letellier is probably going to have to find employment somewhere else. UNLESS, a commissioner "instructed" him to request the money transfer. @Riverman - I would think that the Authority would have to approve that size of a transaction.

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/04/13 - 10:30 am
0
0
I know who could give us the

I know who could give us the inside scoop on this suit, but I have no doubt he won't comment because of the legalities. Maybe he could send the info to someone else to post.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/04/13 - 10:52 am
0
0
I don't know
Unpublished

anything about this situation but is Letellier from the South or that corrupt state of Louisiana? Or Illinois?

Aiken29301
2
Points
Aiken29301 12/04/13 - 12:07 pm
0
0
Welcome to Aiken County

Now the Finance Director for Aiken County.

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/04/13 - 01:09 pm
0
0
Allegations are Ridiculous

The charges are so ridiculous they are laughable. A full
dissmissal is expected. That amount of money could never be moved without Airport Comm AND Augusta Comission approval. Strange's ineptness was the major problem.

Sweet son
10415
Points
Sweet son 12/04/13 - 02:14 pm
0
0
@Riverman1

I believe 'old chap' that you have it! "Strange's ineptness was the major problem."

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 12/04/13 - 10:19 pm
0
0
Ms. Strange vs. Mr. LeTellier.....

....RM and others...FYI....

It is my understanding that Mr. L was "relieved" of his duties at two other much larger airports than Augusta.

SeaTac and Orlando Executive....

The reason?......misappropriation of funds......not conjecture , a matter of public record....

Who is the REAL villain here?.....

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/05/13 - 08:34 am
0
0
Conservative Man

Conservative Man, the $800,000 was a budgeted expense to pay the Marshall's Dept. to police the airport. This was an ongoing expenditure authorized by the county. Letellier saw it as a budgeted item and asked why couldn’t the bill be moved to the county fund and let them mess with the monthly disbursement. That amount of money could never be moved without Airport Commission AND Augusta Commission approval. That’s what this is all about.

Tammy Strange was fired and now wants revenge. By the way, she had a friend in high places in county administration which may have led her to feel self-important. The friend was told she would be fired unless she was moved to another county job not at the airport.

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 12/05/13 - 09:28 am
0
0
Letellier was also the

Letellier was also the accomplice with Margaret Woodard in moving the downtown clock to the airport. The airport authority was unaware until after the deal was made. The clock was deemed a total loss by Travelers Insurance and the DDA was cut a check. The clock is now at the airport working perfectly.The documents to support this statement have been in the hands of a local activist group for a year or more. Looks to be 100% insurance fraud. Would be great if this could all be uncovered along with the rest of the problems Letellier has caused here and elsewhere. The director has a horrible track record in other cities. Orlando Executive payed him to leave.

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/05/13 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Clock

The Airport Authority approved the purchase of the
clock and then paid in excess of $5,000 for an overhaul of the inner workings.

Cman, keep in mind the Airport board is very political. If a manager gave them cause for removal, he would be gone asap. Not a one has spoken against Letellier.

Riverman1
84116
Points
Riverman1 12/05/13 - 07:10 pm
0
0
What has Fred Russell said

What has Fred Russell said about Tammy Strange's firing and lawsuit?

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