Gone fishing

File search sadly continues the tone of distrust in city government

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Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams’ aggressive probe into former City Administrator Fred Russell’s computer records will provide him with just the evidence needed to … to …

We’re not sure. He’s not sure. He’s never said what he’s trying to prove, or even what he’s looking for.

Williams’ request for as many files as possible from Russell’s hard drive – he’s being permitted to examine five years’ worth – may add up to nothing more than wasted work hours for the city staff who must review and print the documents. Or, who knows – it might actually uncover something worth pursuing further.

But it all seems so petty. And the querulous manner of Williams’ fishing expedition only further pollutes an already toxic atmosphere at city hall. How sad that such distrust hangs like a haze over our city government.

Monitoring and holding public employees accountable is one thing, but displaying such vitriolic distrust for an employee who has never been accused of criminal wrongdoing sends a chilling message to current and future employees.

A nationwide job search is going on for Russell’s replacement as city administrator. Who would be interested in applying for the job if this is the kind of treatment they can expect to get from just one of the county’s 10 commissioners?

Williams first tried peeking into Russell’s files in 2007 amid insinuations that government equipment was being used for personal business. That probe went nowhere and Williams backed off. Now he’s at it again.

“I’m looking for any- and everything,” Williams said. “I don’t have a trail.”

Or, perhaps, a sense of tact.

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RunningMan 01/25/14 - 08:35 am
Very Similar

Seems very similar to how things are in Washington D.C., except we would be talking about the President and not Russell. No matter what we are looking for, as long as we are looking it their way of thinking.

Riverman1 01/25/14 - 08:48 am
Goose and Gander

I notice all the commissioners are given laptops they use at commission meetings. Could those also be examined with a Freedom of Information Request? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

seenitB4 01/25/14 - 09:05 am
Fred has been fired..right?

So now what....can you RE-FIRE him...nahhh

Use this time/money for other things.....stop spinning your wheels in Augusta.

Darby 01/25/14 - 12:55 pm
“I’m looking for any- and everything,”

Williams said. “I don’t have a trail.”

Seems though, that he JUST MIGHT have an agenda.

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