Augusta Commissioner Wants More Teeth In Ethics Ordinance - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Augusta Commissioner Wants More Teeth In Ethics Ordinance

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Augusta, GA -

Augusta Commissioners Grady Smith, Joe Jackson, and Wayne Guilfoyle have been punished, as they were officially censured by Augusta Commissioners earlier this month for doing business with the city.

"I think censureship is not a deterrent to doing business with the city and I think we need a stiffer penalty," said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Fennoy's idea of a stiffer, more appropriate penalty would be for those breaking the ethics ordinance to be forced leave the Commission.

"If the ordinance is saying there would be automatic resignations, it would be a little bit of teeth into violation of the ordinance," says Fennoy.

Fennoy may be looking for teeth in the ordinance, but the Commissioners who were censured are biting back on the idea.

"I'm disappointed we don't move forward, we've got too many other issues instead of being bothered. If you don't trust anybody, let's do a background check on everybody. If we have some thugs up here, I think I remember him having an issue," says Commissioner Grady Smith.

Joe Jackson isn't moved that Commissioner Fennoy doesn't feel censure isn't a deterrent. "I don't, its water under the bridge and he wants to regurgitate...that's fine," says Jackson.

"I don't know if he is trying to do a double jeopardy, but I think he needs to talk to Legal first," says Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Fennoy says he's not out to stir up controversy, or re-open wounds, only to get the conflict of interest policy right.

"When you look at the consequences for what they did, there's really no consequence. It's really not a deterrent for doing business with the city," says Fennoy.

"Why do we want to keep beating a dead horse into the ground?" asked Smith.

City attorney Andrew MacKenzie would not say whether the Commission could force someone to resign for violating the ethics ordinance, instead referring to the state recall laws.

The City Administrative Services Committee didn't vote on the proposal Monday, pushing it on to the full Commission without a recommendation.

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