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.