The Augusta Commission voted unanimously Tuesday against granting construction management firm Heery International and two subconsultants a two-year contract extension, instead referring the matter to a committee meeting.
The firm has been paid $9.5 million in fees since coming aboard a decade ago.
With a built-in 4 percent annual increase, it has billed the city more than $200 an hour for the work of several staff members while plying some commissioners and city staff with campaign contributions and visits to Heery’s box at the Georgia Dome for Atlanta Falcons football games.
Commissioner Marion Williams raised the issue at an earlier meeting of an ethics subcommittee tasked with studying how to handle commissioner conflicts of interest.
Williams called for two commissioners who had received Heery’s gifts to recuse themselves from the ethics committee, but they refused. The subcommittee did not discuss the ethical issues connected to Heery.
After the subcommittee meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson and mayoral hopeful and Commissioner Alvin Mason defended their receipt of Falcons and Braves tickets from Heery, and their use of Heery contributions to sponsor district breakfasts and other events, as perfectly legal activities.
Butch Gallop, a longtime Heery subconsultant, said the group was prepared to address any concerns about their contract during a committee meeting Monday.