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Williams continues push for Russell's hard drive

Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 7:27 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 1:07 AM
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Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams is continuing a push to review the contents of former administrator Fred Russell’s computer, despite having little or no support on the commission for the move.

Susan McCord
Government Reporter
Twitter: @reportr1
E-mail | 706-823-3215

Williams demanded a copy of the computer’s hard drive Jan. 7, but it isn’t the first time the commissioner wanted to get inside Russell’s computer: He and former Commissioner Calvin Holland asserted their right as commission members to review the drive in 2007, but were refused.

Widely rumored to be planning a run for Augusta mayor, Russell was fired by the commission Dec. 9 for a variety of stated reasons, none of them criminal.

Asked Monday what he was searching for or expected to find on Russell’s computer, Williams didn’t say.

“I’m looking for any- and everything,” he said. “I don’t have a trail… What gives me heartburn is why we haven’t seen it. Who’s holding it up?”

Several on the commission said Monday they would not support Williams’ inquiry.

“Marion is just one commissioner,” Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson said. “He can’t speak for the whole commission.”

Johnson said he expected to vote against Williams’ request in an earlier vote on the agenda item sought by Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

Commissioners Mary Davis and Wayne Guilfoyle said the request was a waste of time.

“I don’t feel like that’s a necessary move on our part, and I’m focusing more on the needs of the city and our commission priorities, on finding a new administrator, and working on the SPLOST package and looking at budget cuts. Not on anybody’s hard drive,” Davis said.

“I’d rather see energy used for positive things,” said Guilfoyle.

Williams, who has alienated colleagues and city employees in recent weeks by demanding that staff reside in Richmond County, said those who don’t want a look at the computer may have something to hide.

While a member of the general public would be charged for the city’s time to redact privileged information from the computer files, a commissioner has the right to examine its entire contents, he said.

“They’ve got an award-winning department that could do this in the flash of an eye,” Williams said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

Other items going for approval during Tuesday’s regular commission meeting include:

• An application from National Science Center Foundation for a special zoning exception to establish a private school on 7.8 acres just outside Fort Gordon at 159 Craig Sims Pkwy.

• Commissioner Bill Lockett’s initiative to designate Augusta as an “Age-Friendly Community” under American Association of Retired Persons guidelines

• A measure, pushed by Commissioner Joe Jackson, to relinquish commission approval of Augusta Regional Airport expenditures and contracts, regardless of size, and forward them to Augusta-area legislators instead. Jackson has said the move would streamline operations in need of expedience at the airport.

Comments (25) Add comment
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pgapeach2
1502
Points
pgapeach2 01/20/14 - 09:02 pm
12
0
He is

He is out of control! My suggestion to Commissioner Williams would be to get his own house in order before he attempts to fix some one else's. What does he think there could be on the hard drive? Since he does not have the support of his constituents, why doesn't he just let this go?

just an opinion
3052
Points
just an opinion 01/20/14 - 10:09 pm
13
1
He constituents love this...

He is their Jerry Springer. He's uneducated and looking to be some sort of shock jock for "his folk". These are the same ones that are sitting at home doing nothing all day except collecting a check and probably not paying taxes. Unfortunately he gets in the way of real progress that the rest of us are concerned with.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 01/21/14 - 05:08 am
12
0
"said those who don’t want a

"said those who don’t want a look at the computer may have something to hide."

My first thought was, maybe Mr. Williams has something he's concerned about keeping hid.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 01/21/14 - 06:19 am
0
0
It will be VERY interesting
Unpublished

It will be VERY interesting to see Marion Williams reaction if Russell is elected Mayor of Augusta. I, for one will absolutely vote for him if he runs. just an opinion, it's really good...that your comment fits you nickname. I'm no fan of Williams, but I'm less of a fan of unfounded comments like yours.

nocnoc
53897
Points
nocnoc 01/21/14 - 07:29 am
5
3
Have to side with Williams on this one

It is county property, therefore it can be inspected by RCSO and ARC HR.

BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES
Allow a non-HR NON-LEO to get their hands on the drive before it is CLONED for possible LEO Forensics Exam.

I can understand why a few in ARC Government Circles maybe having a Panic attack about now. At the least, have the drive cloned by RCSO or GBI and the clone locked up as possible evidence into a OVER BILLING Scheme.

NOTE: A simple erased drive can be recovered. "OnTrack" does it for fee Pre-quoted typical fee.

I have used them a few times since 1990. While they are not 100% recovery, they have saved more than one tail end.

http://www.krollontrack.com/data-recovery/data-recovery-services/

In My Case I would want ANY PDA /SMART PHONE /LAPTOPS / TABLETS
cloned and and reviewed also.

Little Lamb
50761
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 07:46 am
3
1
Information Request

Department heads are expected to give county documents to commissioners whenever and whatever the commissioners desire. Commissioner Williams does not need a commission vote to get the information.

For example, a couple of weeks ago Commissioner Williams asked the commission clerk's office for a list of what county every department head and every city employee has his primary residence. The clerk complied and gave him the lists. It did not require a commission vote.

If Marion wants information, give him the information. He won't know what to do with it when he gets is, but give it to him anyway.

dichotomy
39293
Points
dichotomy 01/21/14 - 07:54 am
10
0
Another weekly episode of the

Another weekly episode of the Marion Williams Comedy Show. Have you paid your taxes yet Marion?

JRC2024
11633
Points
JRC2024 01/21/14 - 08:09 am
6
0
I think he might have a

I think he might have a tumor. They make people act a little crazy.

deestafford
34423
Points
deestafford 01/21/14 - 08:11 am
7
0
What are Ol' Marion's folks sayin'?

What are Ol' Marion's folks sayin' about his actions? "Man, just look! Ol' Marion is really givin' them folks downtown h$ll as he's lookin' out for us. Go get 'em Marion...It's our turn."

Granted, a commissioner has the right to information. If Williams has a specific piece of information he wants he can ask for it but just going on a witch hunt with no specifics is a different situation. To that he is not entitled.

Little Lamb
50761
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 08:33 am
3
0
Records

The files on the city computer that formerly was issued to Fred Russell are public records. Not only are they to be made available to commissioners; most of them are available to the public.

Only those files that contain personnel evaluations or files related to city financial dealings that have not yet been brought to fruition are off limits to the public.

We know Fred never did a performance evaluation on any of his employees, so there's no problem there.

Give Marion the files and let him read to his heart's content.

Marinerman1
5968
Points
Marinerman1 01/21/14 - 08:39 am
7
0
Hey Marion

Go find the last copy you had of Fred Russell's hard drive, you know, the piece of paper that you had in your pocket. I do however tend to agree with 'LL' -- let him have it. Kind of like the dog that has grabbed the car's tire -- now that I have it, what do I do with it? And his District elected him BACK into the Commission. A sad state you people are...

Riverman1
99337
Points
Riverman1 01/21/14 - 08:40 am
7
4
Deke's "Hard Drive"

I wonder if Marion Williams has ever wondered what’s on Mayor Deke’s hard drive? Maybe a mapquest route to the beach, Gummy Bears song, pictures of himself wearing Speedos, pictures of himself boogie boarding, pictures of himself with Cal Ripken, an e-card the Boardman’s gave him for his birthday and thank you cards from the powers that be for the TEE Center that begin, “Good boy.”

seenitB4
103726
Points
seenitB4 01/21/14 - 08:49 am
8
1
I agree with Guilfoyle...

“I’d rather see energy used for positive things,” said Guilfoyle.

myfather15
58535
Points
myfather15 01/21/14 - 09:09 am
5
0
ICL

My thoughts exactly!! Why would he want the information so badly, when other commissioner's aren't that concerned? Russell has already been fired, so what is he looking for? Possible evidence against him?

I also agree with nocnoc, as a commissioner, he should be allowed to view the information. BUT, law enforcement should get it before he puts his grubby paws on it!! I wouldn't put it past ANY politician to destroy something that makes them look bad!!

itsanotherday1
50027
Points
itsanotherday1 01/21/14 - 09:34 am
7
0
Fred is no dummy. If there

Fred is no dummy. If there was anything there negative to him, it would have been scrubbed clean. There is software for that too.

dichotomy
39293
Points
dichotomy 01/21/14 - 10:36 am
8
0
I think I am more interested

I think I am more interested in Marion Williams's tax records, property sales to the city, and county gasoline credit card usage than I am Fred Russell's hard drive or PDA.

internationallyunknown
5392
Points
internationallyunknown 01/21/14 - 10:40 am
3
2
Public Records/Support

It depends on who is against Fred, I see...

dsterling9
1306
Points
dsterling9 01/21/14 - 10:58 am
6
0
COMPUTER REVIEW

Think there should be a review of any city owned computer(s) issued to or used by Marion Williams to ensure they are being used for city/county business only! This man has been a pain and why they keep electing him is a mystery.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
12461
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 01/21/14 - 11:01 am
5
0
Hard Drive

I have no doubt that the hard drive has been scrubbed clean, but not before old Fred may have made copies of items that could be extremely useful to him in the coming months and years. He'd be a fool not to!!

Sweet son
12159
Points
Sweet son 01/21/14 - 12:08 pm
2
0
Too bad Marion,

it's gone!

Little Lamb
50761
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 12:32 pm
2
0
Server

It might be that city government Augusta has a system whereby files are backed up to I.T. department servers such that employee hard drive crashes do not cause havoc. Therefore, the files Williams wants are likely available somewhere in the I.T. department. Too bad no one in city government will co-operate with Williams.

Little Lamb
50761
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 12:50 pm
2
0
Imagine

We remember the story a few months back about Columbia County's Development Department director Richard Harmon's abrupt resignation from county government with no explanation as to why. Later it became known that it was a "resign or be fired" case.

Now, imagine this scenario: Commissioner Ron Cross walks into the office of the director of the I.T. department at Columbia County government and politely requests assistance of an I.T. technician to review the files that were on Richard Harmon's county-provided computer just before his resignation. I can see the I.T. department making all reasonable efforts to comply with Commissioner Cross's request.

What do you think would happen if the I.T. Director said, “I'm sorry, Commissioner Cross, but you are not authorized to have that information. You will have to get an ordinance passed by the whole commission before I will let you see county files.”?

That director would be gone in a New York second.

Who is it in Richmond County government that is stone-walling Williams’ request? Maybe we'll get more information in Thursday's Metro Courier.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/21/14 - 03:37 pm
4
0
I have no problem with anyone

I have no problem with anyone looking at porn. Don't be on the clock, but look all you want on your own time.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/21/14 - 03:40 pm
3
0
Now in your best Schwarzenegger impression

I think he might have a tumor. They make people act a little crazy.

thanks jrc

Graymare
3997
Points
Graymare 01/21/14 - 05:08 pm
0
0
Isn't the computer and hard

Isn't the computer and hard drive property of the Augusta Richmond County Government? So what's the problem?

Little Lamb
50761
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 05:44 pm
1
0
Property

Exactly, Graymare, the computer, the hard drive, the files on the hard drive, and the back-up files on the county server are all the property of ARC government. Marion Williams is an elected commissioner of ARC government. He is entitled to examine the files.

However, the problem is that Marion Williams is his own worst enemy. There is a procedure to follow if one wants to examine government files, and Marion is not one to follow procedure. Instead, he is grandstanding before the commission asking them to back him up. They don't want to. That's their business.

Marion should follow the procedure quietly in city hall, and, voila he will get the files.

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