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December 6, 2013

Councilman Joiner asked to resign, reimburse city

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville City Council and Mayor Richard Bentley requested Thursday that Councilman Phillip Joiner, District 4, resign from office effectively immediately and reimburse the city for training classes paid for by the city. 

Council announced the final decision during Thursday’s called meeting in regards to the ongoing ethics complaint filed against Joiner by local business owner Danielle Fields.

When reached for comment, Joiner, who did not attend the meeting, said resigning is not in his plans.

“I will certainly not be resigning; that’s not going to happen. We have one scheduled meeting left, and I do not plan to resign. There’s certainly nothing in the provision ... in our code that will compel me or force me to resign. It’s an empty gesture for political cover,” said Joiner immediately after learning about Council’s decision. “I love all of my peers on Council and the mayor and have no ill feelings toward them, but I disagree with them.”

Council is also requesting Joiner to reimburse the city for training classes that were paid for by the city, classes Joiner was registered to attend after the city’s code of ethics was adopted March 27, 2012. Joiner failed to receive credit from the sponsor of the training classes.

“My attorney and I don’t agree with it. [Fields] did not in any way at any time ever prove anything at all; she never submitted any evidence. I’m certainly guilty of not being organized in paperwork, but the city has never once paid me to attend a conference for which I did not attend. I’ve attended every single conference that the city has paid me. We’ve stipulated that and there’s no evidence to disprove that,” Joiner said. “I have little as three weeks left; this is easy because [Council and the mayor] won’t be working with me in the future. It’s an easy political high road.”

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