An Augusta Animal Services employee who was terminated after officials said he improperly took a dog from the agency will get his job back, a review board determined Wednesday.
The Augusta Personnel Board voted to reverse the decision by Interim City Administrator Fred Russell to terminate Bruce McClure, a field services supervisor for the agency.
Only one board member out of eight in attendance voted in favor of maintaining the termination.
Mr. McClure was accused of falsifying records and taking a dog illegally from the shelter, breeding her and selling the puppies.
After Wednesday's personnel board meeting, he said he felt vindicated by the decision.
Mr. McClure was recommended for termination by Randy Teasley, the director of Augusta Animal Services, after the animal control board received a letter stating that Mr. McClure was selling the dogs at a flea market.
Mr. Russell, who was the deputy administrator before this week, had upheld the recommendation May 3.
In giving their reasoning after the vote was made, a few members of the board, made up of private citizens, said the decision to reverse Mr. McClure's firing came because Mr. Teasley had previously reprimanded Mr. McClure in January over the same issue.
A document from the department states that Mr. McClure had received a verbal reprimand in January for not properly following adoption procedures.
But, during April, the situation came under media scrutiny.
In late April, documents state, Mr. Teasley had suspended Mr. McClure with pay for three days and recommended his dismissal.
Some board members cautioned Mr. McClure that the board's decision was not a vindication for any wrongdoing.
"We had no doubt on the violation," said Sammie Sias, a board member.
"However, punishment had been rendered."
Some of the board members also urged Mr. Teasley to clarify policy on employee animal adoptions.
Mr. Teasley said an updated employee manual is being prepared and should be ready by July. He also said Mr. McClure will probably return to work by Monday.
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