Education

More News | |

Azziz to reimburse GRU for resources used at private wedding

Monday, April 22, 2013 7:10 PM
Last updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:12 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Georgia Regents Uni­versity officials said President Ricardo Azziz plans to reimburse the university for the cost of a state-owned bus used to carry guests of a private wedding held at his home last weekend.

Back | Next
A bus with a Georgia Health Sciences University seal on the side and government plates pulls up to The Partridge Inn to shuttle wedding guests to the home of GRU President Ricardo Azziz on Milledge Road.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
A bus with a Georgia Health Sciences University seal on the side and government plates pulls up to The Partridge Inn to shuttle wedding guests to the home of GRU President Ricardo Azziz on Milledge Road.

Univer­sity spokeswoman Christen Carter acknowledged the use of university resources, including the bus and GRU police officers for security at the wedding for Azziz’s niece, Breeanna Beckhamn and Brian Straessle. Beckham and Straessle live and work in the Washington, D.C., area but held their wedding Saturday evening on the grounds of the Azziz residence, which is property of the University Board of Regents.

“The Azziz family will reimburse the university for costs associated with shuttle rental and driver, and one marked police unit,” Carter wrote in an e-mail.

The shuttle bus and the driver were on duty for about 11 hours Saturday at a rate of $36 per hour, Carter said. She also said there was a $20 charge for the use of a marked police car.

Carter said the entire cost for university resources was $416. To book a similar shuttle for a Saturday event in Augusta through Limos.com costs about $1,600.

She said university attorneys provided her a copy of a Georgia Health Sciences University policy memorandum that applied to the use of resources by the president. She said the policy, dated Sept. 14, was in the process of being updated.

Although the policy clearly allows the president to hold family events, such as weddings, at the Milledge Road home, the use of other resources, such as buses, isn’t as clearly defined and does not provide for reimbursement of costs for such services.

The policy states, “The university should not provide transportation to the President or his family for personal business, including transportation to and from schools, vacations, etc.”

At least one university bus was seen being used to transport guests from the Partridge Inn on Walton Way to the event at the Milledge Road home and also to a wedding photo session at another location.

Photos of the wedding, including members of the wedding party inside the bus and at Savannah Rapids Park in Columbia County, were posted on the groom’s Twitter account Saturday.

The university policy states that the university “must provide security” for the president’s home.

Four police officers also worked at the wedding but were not paid for that duty, Carter said.

“They volunteered,” she said.

THE WEDDING

See wedding photos on Twitter @Brian_Hitched

Comments (46) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
87462
Points
Riverman1 04/22/13 - 08:19 pm
16
1
Volunteered

"They volunteered."

Well, isn't that special?

Cynical old woman
1111
Points
Cynical old woman 04/22/13 - 08:28 pm
14
1
On and on and on

His antics never cease!

Riverman1
87462
Points
Riverman1 04/22/13 - 09:10 pm
11
0
Wouldn't Most People Tip?

I would think most people would not only pay a bus driver and police officers the going rate, but would provide a good tip, too. That's assuming it's legal to rent these resources. I'm sure if anyone looks into the officers "volunteering" some very damaging information will surface. The attempted cover-up will be interesting.

Little Lamb
47210
Points
Little Lamb 04/22/13 - 09:17 pm
7
0
Ay, Yah, Yahy, Yah, Yahy

I deserve it. I'm the regent in this uncool town.

Fiat_Lux
15965
Points
Fiat_Lux 04/22/13 - 09:34 pm
13
0
Hey, since it's public property,

can I use the bus and driver and pay what he's gonna' pay? I pay taxes in Georgia.

How does he get away with paying a special discount rate as compared to the going rate for us, the Great Unwashed?

fatboyhog
2025
Points
fatboyhog 04/22/13 - 10:16 pm
12
0
Liability

Among other things, who would have been liable had the bus been involved in an accident? Had the bus been at fault, who would have paid for repairs? This is clearly a violation of state policy. His pompous, self-righteous, arrogant donkey tail should be fired, stat! What if one of his officers decided to use a patrol car for a date? I'm sure they'd be fired on the spot. Azziz is out of control. He is paid by taxpayers; why isn't he held to the same standard as the rest of the state employees. He gets paid over $600K and his benefit package is probably close to a million dollars..It's time for him to go. If he had any integrity, he'd resign and leave town. Ethics, Ricardo, do you know what that word means?

Young Fred
18262
Points
Young Fred 04/22/13 - 10:15 pm
17
0
It's really quite simple.

He will reimburse because he got caught/outed.

KSL
135441
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 10:19 pm
7
1
Thank goodness he got caught.

Thank goodness he got caught.

KSL
135441
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 10:21 pm
10
6
Azziz reminds me a lot of

Azziz reminds me a lot of Obama.

KSL
135441
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 10:28 pm
6
1
"Let's use university

"Let's use university resources, and if we get caught, we'll just offer to pay back quarters on the dollar."

fatboyhog
2025
Points
fatboyhog 04/22/13 - 10:28 pm
5
0
I wonder...

if his employees used the logic, "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" how that would go over.

KSL
135441
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 10:32 pm
5
1
This man needs to go and go

This man needs to go and go fast. Until he is gone, the former MCG is going to be looked at like a joke.

KSL
135441
Points
KSL 04/22/13 - 10:47 pm
5
1
You can't tell me that the

You can't tell me that the BOR can't find someone who will have great vision for creating a class research university while not giving up outreach to the community or making his employees feel intimidated.

showboat
350
Points
showboat 04/22/13 - 11:43 pm
1
0
this guy need to be on his
Unpublished

this guy need to be on his way out of town. ASP

my.voice
4930
Points
my.voice 04/23/13 - 12:03 am
4
0
A leader should be above

A leader should be above reproach. Mr Azziz, since that phrase escapes you, I will put it in terms even you can understand.....

MEXT TIME, RENT YOUR OWN COTTON-PICKIN' BUSSES FROM A PRIVATE COMPANY NEXT TIME AND STOP TRYING TO IMPRESS EVERYONE WITH HOW POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT YOU (think you) ARE. ACT LIKE THE LEADER OF A UNIVERSITY AND NOT THE GODFATHER.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 04/23/13 - 12:13 am
1
0
Wow, pictures and everything
Unpublished

Wow, pictures and everything I wonder what Azziz would get away with were it not for the Chronicle. I also wonder what gives him special privilege to use these resources and no other GRU employee. Who will reprimand him?

LeConteSkier
553
Points
LeConteSkier 04/23/13 - 12:57 am
11
0
So Augusta was cool enough

So Augusta was cool enough for a wedding! I guess university police and busses couldn't have been used in your "cooler cities"

jmo
16848
Points
jmo 04/23/13 - 03:10 am
8
0
I wonder......

what else of the taxpayers' money he is using, but hasn't been caught yet.

Bodhisattva
6476
Points
Bodhisattva 04/23/13 - 04:22 am
8
0
As my late father might have
Unpublished

As my late father might have said, "Ain't that sportin' of him?"

wildman
1157
Points
wildman 04/23/13 - 04:24 am
7
0
The regular employee

would have been terminated for this. He is no different from the everyday employee except that the regular employee would have never been able to have that service offered to them. He abused his position and should be terminated. Let's see what happens, although I probably know. NOTHING!

Riverman1
87462
Points
Riverman1 04/23/13 - 04:59 am
10
0
Another Azziz Blunder

Doesn’t this ostentatious display of Azziz’s power using taxpayer resources represent his poor judgment perfectly? The person who makes this kind of decision is the one the state trusts to rename the schools and lead them? No wonder the last two presidents of ASU are less than kind in their comments about Azziz. My goodness, when will it all end and allow us to fix these monumental blunders?

CHSDARKHORSE
50
Points
CHSDARKHORSE 04/23/13 - 06:30 am
4
0
When he reads the comments:

When he reads these comments he will think outloud "in your face Augusta." He has no shame!

nocnoc
45410
Points
nocnoc 04/23/13 - 07:20 am
11
1
KEEP THE MONEY

JUST PLEASE FIRE HIM .

UNDER O.C.G.A. what he did is a Misuse and or Misappropriation of State Funds and Property for Personal Gain.

A jail-able, fine-able and a termination offense.

Ga Employees are terminated regularly for misusing state property for personal use and this BOOZO should be no different.

IF, the Gov. lets this float, his chances of re-election SINK.

WAG
287
Points
WAG 04/23/13 - 07:04 am
6
0
It is amazing what these so

It is amazing what these so called higer ups get by with. One of us peons would never have had the audacity to even think I could have used the bus or anything else associated with university. Fire him fire him fire him! Gonna call the university to day to see if I can rent the bus.....all of should. Keep that phone busy. He gets by with it cause we sit back and allow it!

soapy_725
43816
Points
soapy_725 04/23/13 - 07:12 am
1
0
Mighty white of him!!
Unpublished

Mighty white!!!!!!!

He is a demagog of the highest order. And the kings and princes can do whatever they please. Remember we fought a war in 1776 to separate us from a king and peasant culture. We won right? Or did we?

john
1075
Points
john 04/23/13 - 07:13 am
4
0
His house?

How about the costs for having the function at a state owned house? Ill bet that would have cost thousands if it were held somewhere else. I think if you need a bus all day, its bigger than a "family event"

Stunned 2
5150
Points
Stunned 2 04/23/13 - 07:29 am
5
0
Non-exempt employees can not volunteer

Non-exempt employees can not volunteer - they must be paid. If the officers are exempt - no problem. Violations to Federal Labor laws incur penalties. Are the taxpayers paying the penalties? or, are they going to wrangle it around and say they he 'hired them' /they were not on the state's time?
Someone needs to pay those officers.

curly123053
4995
Points
curly123053 04/23/13 - 07:22 am
5
0
Arrogance

All I have to say is that any other employee would have been fired for this misuse of state property.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 04/23/13 - 07:27 am
4
6
This is good example of how
Unpublished

This is good example of how liberals think, they believe they are entitled, kind like the commie in the WH

jmo
16848
Points
jmo 04/23/13 - 07:42 am
5
0
To me this equates......

to a shoplifter at Walmart getting caught and saying, "Oh, I'll pay for this" and then thinking everything is alright. Misappropriation is the same as theft and there should be penalties.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs