The Union Recorder

Local News

May 9, 2013

Ethics board member disqualified

MILLEDGEVILLE — An oversight during the City of Milledgeville’s Board of Ethics appointments disqualifies one of the three members from serving.

Considering the city’s first ethics complaint against a city official came in last Friday, City Attorney Jimmy Jordan noticed the mistake earlier this week.

The three-member ethics board was finalized May 23, 2012, when Patricia Hicks joined Georgia College professor Clifton Wilkinson Jr. and Baldwin County part-time state court judge Alan Thrower on the panel charged with investigating ethics complaints filed against city officials and designees.

Each board member is required to sign an affidavit after appointment stating they are over 21, a registered city voter, a city resident and not an elected official.

Jordan noticed a problem with panel member Alan Thrower’s eligibility Tuesday.

“Judge Thrower is a Baldwin State Court judge elected by the people of Baldwin County. It was clear he couldn’t sign that affidavit because he did not meet that requirement,” Jordan said. “When I discovered that, it was brought to the attention of mayor and Council, and the mayor is in the process of recommending a new appointment.”

Jordan said at the time of Thrower’s appointment by Mayor Richard Bentley and Council they thought it would be good to have someone with legal experience on the board. 

“It was an oversight on my part,” the city attorney said.

Local resident Danielle Fields, a downtown business owner, filed the complaint last week against District 4 City Councilman Phillip Joiner that started the city procedure of handling its first ethics case.

Fields cited three instances of alleged unethical behavior in her opinion including an inappropriate email to a member of the media, as well as other incidents of harassment that have been filed against Joiner; wasteful spending, lack of compliance with Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) mandated training and neglect of training courses paid for by the City of Milledgeville; and Joiner’s expenditures for an event that she alleges in her complaint he could not have attended while he was being paid by another entity.

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