Originally created 11/05/06

Across Georgia



Regents to vote on insurance premiums

ATHENS - The University System Board of Regents is scheduled to vote this week to raise university employees' health insurance premiums - the day after the election for Georgia's governor, timing that has raised some employees' eyebrows.

Insurance adjustments usually happen in September, but the regents waited until November this year to vote on health care premiums that could have employees paying up to $26.20 more per month in 2007. The 18 regents serve seven-year terms appointed by the governor, including 13 named by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The University System of Georgia contracts with Kaiser Permanente and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia for HMO coverage for its employees who pay 25 percent of health care costs. Employers' 75 percent share of the health care premium also will increase, university system spokesman John Millsaps said.

Former chief denies claim of retaliation

JEFFERSON - The former Jefferson police chief denies claims that he retaliated against a police sergeant who cooperated in a Georgia Bureau of Investigation corruption investigation.

Former Chief Darren Glenn made the denial in a response to a federal lawsuit that Sgt. Lee New filed in U.S. District Court in Gainesville.

In his response, Mr. Glenn offers nine defenses, including the assertion that, as a public official, he was not legally liable for Sgt. New's claims.

Sgt. New alleges Mr. Glenn demoted him from lieutenant to sergeant for talking with the GBI as part of an investigation of corruption within the department and whether another police officer used city-owned fuel in a personal vehicle, according to the lawsuit.

Mr. Glenn and a department captain asked Sgt. New and a former police lieutenant to disclose what they told the GBI. However, according to the lawsuit, the two officers did not reveal what they told state agents and were soon demoted.

A police captain told the officers they were demoted because they spoke with the GBI, Sgt. New alleges in the lawsuit. In May, Sgt. New filed a claim against the city; he was reinstated.

Transit authority to sue management company

SAVANNAH - Members of the Chatham Area Transit Authority voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against a management company the board hired to operate Savannah's bus system.

The vote came Friday, as it asked the city's attorney to file the suit against First Transit.

The board is seeking $529,849 plus any court fees for unapproved expenditures made by the company, including work involving the design of a new bus transfer station.