The Fire/EMS Cover-Up

Mayor Wetherington covers for Fire Chief again! Inside; altered time cards and a hidden audit report -click here-

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......THE COVER--UP
Columbus Fire Department/EMS...The Missing Audit

By Wane A. Hailes
Special to the Courier

On December 2 of 2008 Battalion Chief Janice M. Brunner presented to Jeffery Meyer, Chief/EMS Director; Jerry Fountain, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief, Robert Futrell her concerns regarding questionable Central Command Staff Administrative Practices including; time card alterations, continued employment
after revoked driver’s license and denial of EAP request. In addition she expressed her concerns regarding bias and insensitive management approach and treatment to include; intellectual insults with verbal and behavioral outbursts, avoidance and belittlement along with passive and illusive concerns. To alter a time card can be considered fraud, theft or larceny and is a criminal offense. Therein lies the cover-up. On the following pages you will be presented with actual letters and memos detailing events and conversations the Courier/Eco Latino newspaper has received, through the Georgia Open Records Act. This information should give cause to the city council to demand an immediate and full investigation of the Mayors actions,
this department and its leadership team.

For years this department has been embattled with numerous allegations of sexual discrimination , racial
discrimination, drug use, gender discrimination and nepotism. At the June 8, 2010 City Council meeting Mayor Jim Wetherington stated there had been 24 audits conducted under his watch not including the most recent one on the Parks and Recreation department (see list on this page). Our Mayor Pro Tem
has expressed her concern that she has yet to see the results of any with the exception of the Parks & Recreation departments. It might surprise the Mayor Pro Tem and this community that in actuality there have been 26 audits conducted, the missing one? The Columbus Fire and EMS Department. We’ll start
our story of cover-up and deceit here with a letter from Battalion Chief Brunner.

Dear Mr. Barron:
After taking time to consider the impending effects of your proposed suggestions and comments - which would compromise my integrity, values, and moral convictions from our meeting on January 9,2009 from 0930 until 1133 Hrs., I have decided to proceed in the fair treatment process. I request an appointment to speak with Isaiah Hugley, City Manager, as soon as possible.
Repetitively, you stated that 'If I was not satisfied with your proposed resolutions, I could request to speak with the Mayor concerning my grievances.' However, the Fair Treatment Policy 220- 504 outlines the next step as follows:

Step 4. Every effort will be made to resolve complaints and problems satisfactory to all parties. However, after completing Step 3, if you are still not satisfied......

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This is the list of 25 audits conducted
by Internal Auditor John Redmond obtained
by the Georgia Open Records Act.
According to Mayor Wetherington, as
stated at the June, 8, 2010 City Council
meeting prior to the Parks & Recreation
Department only 24 audits had been conducted.
Why didn’t the Mayor include the
one conducted on the Fire department?
Clerk of Superior Court
Coroner's Office
Cooperative Extension Department
Engineering Department
Parks and Recreation Department
District Attorney's Office
Mayor's Office
Finance Department
Information Technology Department Tax
Assessor's Ot11ce
Tax Commissioner's Office
Municipal Court Clerk's Office Magistrate
Court
Law Library
Sheriff s Department
Marshal's Department
Civic Center
Trade and Convention Center Oxbow
Creek Golf Course
Recorder's Court
JTPA
Juvenile Court
Victim's Witness Probate Court
Public Defender's Office

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