Director's reassignment sought

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Julia Porter-Stein could be out as the Richmond County school system's director of public safety under a proposal to reorganize her department.

A school board committee gave preliminary approval to the change Tuesday night; it still needs the full board's approval next week.

Superintendent Dana Bedden told board members that he has 18 months of observations and feels it would be best to reassign Ms. Porter-Stein to the new position of senior internal affairs investigator, which would be created as part of the reorganization.

Dr. Bedden didn't specify why he wanted new leadership, but when asked after the meeting he said a change could improve morale among public safety officers and bring fresh ideas on the use of technology.

The change would mean a pay cut for Ms. Porter-Stein, but board President Marion Barnes asked members to reconsider the pay change for one year as it has done for other employees.

"You have to be fair," Mr. Barnes said. "You can't just take a person who has served us well and just cut her head off."

Board members gave Dr. Bedden permission to advertise Ms. Porter-Stein's position and seek a replacement. He has no one in mind and said he has spoken with no one about taking the job.

The reorganization creates room for promotion within the department. It now has a director, a captain and five zone sergeants, but little opportunity for officers to advance, Dr. Bedden said. Under the new structure, officers would be allowed to become corporals and one zone sergeant position would become a lieutenant to lead field operations. Currently there is an office for a lieutenant but no person for the office.

In other personnel action, a committee gave preliminary approval to hiring James Whitson as deputy superintendent, replacing James Thompson, who will retire June 30. Dr. Whitson is the assistant superintendent of Sumter County Schools in Americus, Ga.

The proposed personnel actions would be effective July 1.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

Committees gave preliminary approval to:

- Create Advanced Placement academies at Laney and Westside high schools. After the first year, the Laney program would function like a magnet school and allow any student in Richmond County to apply.

- Rezone schools to accommodate the opening of Pine Hill Middle School

- Rename the Academy of Rich-mond County football field for former coach Frank Inman Jr.

Comments (23) Add comment
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ONLY THE TRUTH
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ONLY THE TRUTH 04/15/09 - 01:52 am
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Yeah, let's create a new

Yeah, let's create a new position for everyone who is not doing his or her job. What's wrong Dr. Bedden---getting low on testicular appendages???

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/15/09 - 05:11 am
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If Ms Porter-Stein has

If Ms Porter-Stein has "...served us well..." why is she being replaced? If, on the other hand, she is just being moved to a level of competency, why maintain her pay at her incompetent level? Politics often wins out over competency.

Waymore
114
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Waymore 04/15/09 - 05:56 am
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It's about time...Maybe now

It's about time...Maybe now the BOE will get a person with real law enforcement experience. One who has been a proven leader and manager. Maybe, just maybe, this replacement will let the BOE POLICE OFFICERS do their jobs. These people are not "security guards" or "resource officers," they are POLICE OFFICERS!

For far too long, the BOEPS officers have been pawning off their responsibility, and it started at the top....

justus4
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justus4 04/15/09 - 06:33 am
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Good move by the
Unpublished

Good move by the superintendent, but this Barnes guy is problematic. Reducing a salary is not "cutting her head off" because that would be firing her. A BIG difference. And sure, some people are nice, but don't have the skills & training to be effective. They should be told in a respectful manner, "you gotta go" and explain the issues. But why is every decision Doc makes printed and reviewed for the public? Of course "we" know why and suspect "they" are plotting. Time will tell.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/15/09 - 06:38 am
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Oh boy!

Oh boy!

ripjones
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ripjones 04/15/09 - 06:39 am
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As I have said in this forum

As I have said in this forum many times, Boards of Education have NO business having their own police departments ! And before anyone makes a comment -- this goes for Columbia County as well. If they want captive security, then they should fund deputies from the County Sheriff's Office. Law Enforcement is outside of their scope.

Debster
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Debster 04/15/09 - 07:07 am
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My problem with this is that

My problem with this is that if Ms. Porter-Stein isn't doing her job, why create a position for her where she likely won't do that job? I've never worked where a position was created for my abilities. If I wasn't doing the job for which I was hired, I would have been fired.

abc123xyz
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abc123xyz 04/15/09 - 07:16 am
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So instead of firing this

So instead of firing this pathetic excuse of a director who was ALWAYS clueless about this position, they are going to move her to another department so that she can destroy & ruin that one too?!?!? The only way she got this job was because she was married to a board - who is DEAD - she isn't owed any more favors!!!! She needs to be told to retire or be fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All this move will accomplish is her terrorizing another group of people in addition to her continuing to harass Public Safety from behind the scenes. THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM!!!!

Dark Lord
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Dark Lord 04/15/09 - 08:30 am
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I agree with most of the

I agree with most of the comments on here. If she is so clueless and uneffective in her position then treat her as she has treated others. FIRE HER and put someone who can do the job in that position. Senior internal affairs investigator is a pretty powerful position. Actually, I didn't know they didn't have one. If they didn't need this position when she was the chief then why do they all of a sudden need one now. I smell a rat. Dr. Bedden wouldn't be playing both sides of the coin would he (lmao). Of course he is.

JUSTICE187
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JUSTICE187 04/15/09 - 08:50 am
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It is truly about time, the

It is truly about time, the whole command staff needs to be scrutinized and adjusted accordingly. Inept, incompetent and absolutely ridiculous.

JUSTICE187
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JUSTICE187 04/15/09 - 08:53 am
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The assistant director and

The assistant director and his cronies are as big or a bigger problem than she is/was.

ohcomeon
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ohcomeon 04/15/09 - 10:17 am
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We all have our place in life

We all have our place in life some are born leaders and some are not. Chief Steins is not the leader for public safety. Public Safety is a very tuff job to have and they need the right kinds of people there. Everyone is not meant to work with children. They have many challenges. Officer need to know that their Chief has there backs when situations arrive. They need someone that is not affraid to stand up for what they believe in. There comes a time when they have to make tuff decision and stand by those decisions. The officers that have stayed and tuffed it out should be commended for there dedication to the job. I have seen with my on eyes Officers doing wonderful things for children helping them out of situations that really could have messed them up in the furture. I have seen the caring and generousity shown by the RCBOE officers. They should keep there heads up and know that a change is coming. And to Ripjones the comment you made the Sheriff Department wants no part of these kids in school. As I said before it takes a special kind of person to work with these kids. I hope that Public Safety gets the right man or woman to lead this department in the right direction.

abc123xyz
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abc123xyz 04/15/09 - 11:01 am
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I'd like to know what

I'd like to know what happened to all that crap Dr. Bedden was spewing out about "if you're not doing your job, you'll be put off the bus"? Does that not apply to Chief Stein?? She has ruined Public Safety & run off most of the good employees & her "punishment" for that is to be put in another department - drawing the same fat $90-K plus salary - & given the opportunity to ruin that one too? I wonder what favor Marion Barnes promised Dr. Bedden to get this done? Those favors between Board members & the former superintendent is what got this mess started in the first place!! And we thought Dr. Bedden was going to be about "change" - boy we were wrong!!!

ohcomeon
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ohcomeon 04/15/09 - 11:46 am
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Well abc123xyz I don't think

Well abc123xyz I don't think Mr. Barnes is trying to get a favor but if you do for one you must do for all. I don't think that she deserves to keep her pay after she has been moved either but if they did it for others I guess it is only fair. I feel that Mr. Barnes is a fair person and he listens to all.

JUSTICE187
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JUSTICE187 04/15/09 - 11:58 am
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This is a big step in the

This is a big step in the right direction, the Officers need to be allowed to do their jobs. They need the tools and resources to do their jobs. They ARE Police Officers....not security guards. They keep our children safe!

abc123xyz
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abc123xyz 04/15/09 - 12:27 pm
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All I am saying, "ofcomeon"

All I am saying, "ofcomeon" is that when ANYONE is not doing the job they were hired to do, instead of being moved to another department & allowed to keep the same pay, they should be given the opportunity to retire (if applicable) & if they chose not to, be fired. No one should be kept on any payroll anywhere when they are NOT doing their job - regardless of color, sex, age, etc.

blaqbird07
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blaqbird07 04/15/09 - 02:49 pm
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Senior Internal Affairs

Senior Internal Affairs Investigator........LOL...Thats cute! Sounds better than Chief. Good Luck BOE Officers! She will no longer be your boss. Now she will be your STALKER! LOL

ripjones
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ripjones 04/15/09 - 03:28 pm
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Ohcomeon - If what you say is

Ohcomeon - If what you say is true, then we have other problems. How come our sheriffs don't want to be involved with the schools. I would think that they would rather "interface" with kids, while they are kids, than to have to "interface" withem as adults. Neither Forsyth, nor Gwinnett county's Boards of Education, have a Public Safety Officer position. Gwinnett is one of the largest school systems in the State. How do they do it ?? A Board of Education has no business in the police business !!

wereit
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wereit 04/15/09 - 07:13 pm
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WOW....years later RCBOE

WOW....years later RCBOE finally has seen the light.....she knows nothing about leading Internal Affairs. I am familiar with a situation several years ago where a teacher was given their punishment before the IA division had officially completed their so called investigation.....she is just another one of Larke's robots......hope one day Augusta will finally see the light....glad I do not live there anymore..........

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 04/15/09 - 07:48 pm
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She should have been fired a

She should have been fired a long time ago and Dr. Bedden knows it. She was given the job because of Dr. Larke, no other reason, certainly not experienc, leadership or any knowledge of law enforcement or school safety. Reassignment is a joke and only happens wiht spineless leaders fail to do their jobs or politics get in the way and the funding is coming from the tax payers. She isn't able to do her job in Public Safety and is a terrible choice for Internal Affairs. Remove her from the position or allow her to quit and if she wishes to apply for a new job within the system of which she is capable, then so be it. Don't simply transfer persons who aren't qualified or don't do their job effectively as it is a diservive to those who work with them and the taxpayers. The BOE Campus Police needs a good law enforcement leader who is pro-active, student oriented and will encourage his or her officers to do their jobs without influence from non-certified personnel. This is at least a start in the right direction but again, she needs to go and so do many in the BOE offices who's positions were replaced by those that Dr. Bedden brought in. Continued waste of money with no budget.

lylagirl
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lylagirl 04/15/09 - 08:03 pm
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I thought the BOE was so Top

I thought the BOE was so Top Heavy and the wonderful Bedden was supposed to lightened that problem. It seems like the almighty sup is contridicting himself. Like I have said before, same old game, different player. I hope all of these changes won't come back to bite him in the rear. We shall see!!! By the way, why have a Leadership Academy if you are still going to hire or appoint people from out of town to administrative positions. isn't that wasting money? Guess I am slow, can't comprehend the method to Bedden's madness!

justpassingby
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justpassingby 04/16/09 - 08:25 am
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Gwinnett County has School

Gwinnett County has School Resource Officers that are assigned to clusters. All Officers are required to have at least a BA/BS, and their salaries are close to double RCSS Officers pay (if not more). At last check, the officers are not assigned to a particular school but they work clusters of schools. A good number of counties for Public Safety Departments with in the school system. Chatham, Bibb, Fulton, Dougherty, Burke, to name a few.

georgiastoryteller
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georgiastoryteller 04/16/09 - 02:26 pm
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Amen, LYLAGIRL. You hit the

Amen, LYLAGIRL. You hit the nail on the head. My question is, who specifically was allowed to keep their pay for one full year after moving to another position? Didn't Bedded tell everyone it is HIS policy that this should not and would not happen? THat you take the pay that goes with the job? I wonder what Barnes is referring to. Makes me wonder. Stein needs to go--why develop a new position for her when she has single handedly run out so many good officers? What a joke. And she's never even worked the streets to know anything!

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 04/18/09 - 08:41 pm
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Hmmm. I'd like to work with

Hmmm. I'd like to work with wereit, Waymore, kristinaj907 and AsItisinaug. They don't miss much.

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