AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commissioner Dennis Williams says after two years he was surprised to hear of the federal charges against Sammie Sias.
“Because I’ve always believed that nothing was done wrong but when you deal with our society you can always take something and make it wrong,” Williams said.
The accusations of wrongdoing came in July of 2019 from Willa Hilton, who was manager at Jamestown Community Center.
She accused Sias of pocketing thousands of dollars in sales tax money designated for center renovations.
Sias denied the accusations and accused Hilton of being a scorned lover, hurling false accusations after he ended their 20-year affair.
But In August FBI agents raided Sias home where they removed computer equipment and boxes of materials.
“We have a court authorized, law enforcement activity. outside of that, I can’t make any more comment, said FBI agent Brian Ozden in 2019, outside Sias home.
Since the raid there’s been little news of the Sias investigation until the announcement of the indictments, for destroying records and lying to investigators.
We asked Commissioner Williams if Sias can still be an effective city leader.
“The allegations have been out there for about two years it hasn’t hindered his performance as a commissioner or as he’s seen in the community, so he’ll take that and keep on going until the day of judgement,” said Commissioner Williams .
“You would say don’t resigned?”
“I would say that’s a personal choice, would tell him to do what he’s comfortable in doing,” Williams responded.
If found guilty Sias could face a maximum of 20 years, and well as fines.
Georgia law says the Governor forms a commission to look into the charges and based on that investigation the governor can suspend Sias, right now it’s not clear if the Governor or commission would name a replacement.
We did get in touch with commissioner Sias by phone, he had no comment on the indictments and no comment on whether he plans to resign.