Augusta Fire Chief responds to allegations

CSRA News

Augusta, Ga (WJBF) Augusta commissioners going behind closed doors to discuss another round of complaints against Fire Chief Chris James. 

“I think questions need to be asked I think we need to look to see exactly what is going on Its problematic,” said Commissioner John Clarke. 

The latest problem complaints from Former EMS Chief James Kelly. 

Kelly resigned on September 2nd, in his exit letter to commissioners he accused Fire Chief Chris James of discriminating against him because of his   life style and that Chief James created a hostile work environment. 

“The Mayor stating these are just allegations, a lot of people do tend to quit when they face these types instead of going through the process for fear of retaliation,” said Philip Brigham President of the Augusta Professional Firefighters Association. 

 Chief James responded to Kelly’s accusations in an email to commissioners. 

James refuting point by point Kelly’s accusations, including that he was discriminated because of his lifestyle.  

As for creating a hostile work environment James letter   points out in that in Kelly’s resignation letter he wrote that it was a great experience working for the organization.  

” We need to have a discussion about it since we got some answers from Chief James, we just need again I would like to even i hear from him in person if possible, we just have to discuss it as a commission,” said Commissioner Mary Davis.  

Back in July commissioners approved a needs assessment for the Fire Department to look at the problems and offer solutions 

“Do we wait until after the assessment is over to make any kind of decisions probably so,” said Commissioner Davis.  

“Each time an allegation comes out it’s more serious than the next why do we need to keep waiting for more allegations that keep on getting worse,” said Brigham.  

 Commissioners spent nearly two and a half hours in the legal session, but after made no comment or took on action on the complaints.  

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