The Union Recorder

Local News

August 28, 2013

Ethics board finds Joiner in violation



“I anticipate the council will review the record, and they may choose to initially review it independently of each other. Then I assume they will have a meeting to discuss the matter in accordance with the ordinance,” said City Attorney Jimmy Jordan. “It’s up to them to make a decision in accordance of the ordinance that authorizes them to do so.”

During last week’s hearing, the ethics board called on witnesses to testify regarding allegations against Joiner, including wasteful spending, lack of timely compliance with Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) 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. 

The board reconvened Wednesday at City Hall to provide Fields and Joiner the opportunity to submit additional documentary evidence for the board to consider. 

Fields submitted 10 additional documents to be included into record while the city provided seven documents to the board. 

Joiner, through his attorney, did not submit any additional documents.

Joiner’s attorney called on Fields and Main Street/Downtown Development Director Carlee Schulte to testify under sworn oath regarding the new documentary evidence.

“I object to the vast majority of these documents. Pursuant to the ordinance, which this board is empowered to conduct this hearing, a city official subject to inquiry shall have the right to written notice of hearing and allegations to be represented by council ... and to hear by witnesses,” Oulsnam said to the ethics board before understanding and learning that he had the right to cross examine witnesses in regards to the new evidence during Wednesday’s meeting. “You’re depriving Councilman Joiner of his constitutional rights to cross examine and examine the documents. I should’ve had the ability to look at the notes before [Schulte] testified. This evidence should’ve been presented at the hearing.”

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