The Union Recorder

Local News

August 28, 2013

Ethics board finds Joiner in violation

MILLEDGEVILLE — The City of Milledgeville’s ethics board ruled Wednesday that Councilman Phillip Joiner, District 4, violated portions of the city’s ethics ordinance.

The ethics board reconvened Wednesday evening to deliberate on findings and make a recommendation for council and the mayor to take action in the ethics complaint filed against Joiner by local downtown business owner Danielle Fields. 

After an investigation, and consideration of testimony and written evidence, Board of Ethics Chair Patricia Hicks said the board found Joiner to be in violation of two subsections of the ethics ordinance. 

The board found Joiner to be in violation of the ordinances that includes “all public funds shall be used for the general welfare of the people and not for personal economic gain.” 

“In at least five instances Councilman Joiner obligated the city to expend funds for training classes for which he failed to receive credit from the sponsor of the training classes,” Hicks, chair of the ethics board, said while providing the final recommendation Wednesday. 

The other ordinance the board ruled Joiner did not comply with reads, “no city official shall draw travel funds or per diem from the city for attendance at meetings, seminars, training or other educational events and fail to attend such events without promptly reimbursing the city therefore.”

“Councilman Joiner received travel funds and per diem from the city to attend the National Main Street conference having full knowledge that he was being paid to attend the conference by a third party,” Hicks said.

Joiner was not in attendance Wednesday, though his attorney Donald Oulsnam of Frier & Oulsnam was, along with Fields and local citizens.

The board will formulate a written correspondence to council and the mayor including its recommendations. Council also will receive the total record along with written findings within the next seven days. There is no time table for city council to take action.

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