The Union Recorder

August 20, 2013

Ethics board to reconvene Monday

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The City of Milledgeville’s Board of Ethics convened Tuesday for nearly a four-hour hearing regarding the ethics complaint filed against City Councilman Phillip Joiner, District 4, by local downtown business owner Danielle Fields.

After hearing testimony under oath from city employees and receiving documentary evidence, the ethics board decided to reconvene Monday at 4:30 p.m. in City Hall executive chambers to deliberate and provide a recommendation on the complaint to Council and the mayor.

“We want to give both parties an opportunity to submit any other documentary evidence. There were some things referenced by city employees and officials that the ethics board wants us to see if we can produce for their review. We will give copies to both sides — Mrs. Fields and Mr. Joiner’s attorney [Donald Oulsnam of Frier & Oulsnam],” city attorney Jimmy Jordan said after the hearing was adjourned. “The ethics board will have been provided copies of the hearing transcript by Friday and then they will begin the process of reviewing any additional evidence. If there is a request by either side to have additional testimony regarding evidence, then [the board] will proceed, more likely deliberate.”

Once evidence is closed, the ethics board will deliberate, draft its findings and vote on adopting the findings to be transmitted to the mayor and city Council within seven days. If the ethics board does not complete the hearing process by Monday, an additional meeting will be required.

During the hearing, the ethics board called on witnesses to testify regarding allegations against Joiner, including wasteful spending, lack of timely compliance with Georgia Municipal Association mandated training, neglect of courses paid for by the City of Milledgeville, and expenditures in conjunction with the national Main Street conference in Des Moines, Iowa in May 2011. Witnesses were Barry Jarrett, city manager, Carlee Schulte, director of Milledgeville Main Street/Downtown Development Authority, JoAnn Lunsford, administrative assistant to Jarrett, Shay Danzy, city accounting manager, and Tommy Cook, director of Digital Bridges.