Originally created 08/30/99

Blasts board for reinstating thief



(Editor's note: The writer is District 7 Commissioner for the Augusta-Richmond County Personnel Board.)

Thieves, don't let your record hamper your search for gainful employment. The Personnel Board for the city of Augusta and Richmond County is now hiring!

That is the message the Board sent to all criminals and would-be criminals who are currently employed by the city of Augusta andRichmond County when Colis Ivey, Venus Cain, Al Ferguson, Charles McCann, Mike Brockman and Charles W. Walker Jr. voted to overturn the termination of Tony Martin on Aug. 25.

Mr. Martin pleaded guilty to theft of government property but six of the members, in their infinite wisdom, chose to overlook the facts, disregard due process and spit in the eye of taxpayers by overturning the administrator's decision. I think the taxpayers deserve better and should not have to employ people who are stealing from them.

Those board members voted to overturn the termination because some felt that the penalty was to severe. They can rationalize, emotionalize and spin the circumstances of Mr. Martin's firing all they want (it makes them feel better) but they cannot run from the fact that they have decided that due process doesn't matter, policy and procedure doesn't matter, that there is no such thing as right or wrong and that stealing doesn't matter.

Do you know that we upheld the termination of an employee who allowed his prison work detail to momentarily get out of his line of sight? Apparently, it is OK to steal from the government but don't take your eyes off of the property you are stealing. I ask you, whyhave a board that ignores the facts and votes on feelings? I would suggest that if their judgment is so clouded by feelings and emotions to the point that they cannot determine right from wrong or weigh the facts, that they find another board to serve on. Are there any openings on the "I want to feel good about Augusta Commission?"

I would like to apologize to the taxpayers, ... but by this vote, we have chosen to employ people who steal. And, I would ask that all employees who do know the difference between right and wrong, please continue to do what is right. As long as I am on the commission, I will adhere to the policies and procedures and enforce them based upon facts and not how it feels!

Jerry Peloquin, Augusta