AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commissioner Sammie Sias is still an active member of the Augusta commission, innocent until proven guilty, however contingency plans are being made for the expected what if.
Facing two federal charges, Commissioner Sammie Sias is still as city decision maker. But should he be?
“The judicial process is going to have to work on that personal opinion doesn’t mean anything when it comes to these issues, but ethical process and due process has to take its course,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
At his community breakfast Saturday Sias vowed to fight the charges but admitted that by the next monthly breakfast he may no longer be the Fourth District commissioner.
“I am committed to this breakfast I am committed, I’ve already made arrangements that should I not be able to continue it, it will continue,” said Commissioner Sammie Sias.
Sias is making arrangements because of state law that says in the event of a public official being indicted a commission is formed to investigate and then recommend to the Governor whether the official should be suspended.
Since consolidation Augusta has filled a half dozen vacant commission seats appointing a new member then calling for a special election, but never for a member whose been suspended.
“If a traditional vacancy is declared, we would immediately get busy figuring out a qualifying period and setting that special election date for November otherwise we’ll just wait and see that happens,” said Elections Director Lynn Bailey.
Has there been a discussion about if he is suspended replacement yet?
“No, no, I don’t get into that George the decision is up to I understood clearly this is the Governor’s decision,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
And while there is no vacancy on the Augusta commission right now replacement names are being discussed one Betty Reece who is planning to run for the seat next year as well as former Fourth District commissioner Alvin Mason.