Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Some Commissioners saying when it comes to a new fire chief handwriting was on the wall for Antonio Burden.
“Those six votes were already there they were not even willing to bend I am very disappointed,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
Burden was named sole finalist for the job last month, prompting a successful lawsuit from media outlets because the city did not release information on the other candidates, interviewed.
For some commissioners tainted the selection process, but a motion to restart the search was defeated and Burden was name fire chief on a six to three vote.
“Not real pleased I know the citizens of Augusta Georgia we’re counting on us to get the process done over,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
Last week officials with the Augusta professional Firefighters association criticized Burden being named sole finalist.
We’re disappointed in the process that led us here but at the end of the day we’re going to be willing to work together to move the department forward,” said Firefighters Association President Philip Brigham.
Burden wasn’t one of the top selections of the city’s search committee, but emails show it was city administrator Odie Donald who put his name into consideration, after that Burden jumped to the top of the list.
“The process needed to be redone, and we did not get what we expected out of this,” said Commissioner McKnight.
Antonio Burden hasn’t worked a day yet for the city, but his selection has left some fires in need of being put out.
The administrator was directed to work out salary, benefits and a start day with Burden.