Originally created 04/23/04

Fate of worker is not certain



Augusta commissioners on Thursday discussed the future of an Augusta Animal Services employee who is facing dismissal over allegations of inappropriate activities.

Officials addressed the allegations against Bruce McClure, a field supervisor at Animal Services, at a meeting of the commission's public safety committee,

Mr. McClure is accused of taking a female bulldog from the agency's shelter on Mack Lane, falsifying records and then using her to breed puppies that were sold for as much as $1,000 each.

He also is accused of intimidating employees at the agency.

Willene Colvin, a member of the agency's board who received an anonymous letter that helped set the investigation in motion, informed commissioners about the situation.

"We're very concerned," Ms. Colvin said. "We were appointed to do this. This is something I would not be allowed to be do as a taxpayer, or you as a commissioner."

"I think we do need to look at the seriousness and not to take it lightly," Commissioner Marion Williams said.

Commissioners, who are members of the committee, in attendance - Mr. Williams, Tommy Boyles and Barbara Sims - did not take any action for or against Mr. McClure on Thursday.

Steve Shepard, the city's attorney, told commissioners that the issue with Mr. McClure was a "personnel matter" and needed to be addressed in a closed legal session of commission members.

He said the commission could decide to discuss the matter during the next meeting May 4 if members desired.

City Administrator George Kolb repeatedly refused comment about the matter with reporters assembled outside the commission chambers.

"I don't discuss personnel matters in the news media," Mr. Kolb said. "It's still under investigation."

Mr. Kolb would not confirm whether any disciplinary action had been taken against Mr. McClure but said certain procedures at Animal Services had been altered to "provide checks and balances."

He said the investigation into the allegations was continuing.

Officials at Animal Services said Mr. McClure was out of town Thursday for classes.

No listing for Mr. McClure exists in area telephone directories.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.



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