Ministers demand GBI investigation

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Members of the local "Interdominational Ministerial Alliance" say a "plantation mentality" is alive and well in Columbus.

They're defending Retired Battalion Chief Arnold Farley who says he was unfairly demoted and asked to retire from the Columbus Fire Department in 2008 after nearly 30 years of service.

He says it all started over a personnel issue when he refused to send a paramedic to another fire station.

"It was a form of discrimination and more so a form of retaliation, something that people of color have had to deal with for years and years. We want the same equal playing field when it comes to consideration for investigation," Farley said.

Farley and the ministers backing him want an outside agency like the GBI to investigate the Fire Department.

Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington, the city's public safety director, says he's not going to request any outside investigation.

Columbus Fire Chief Jeff Meyer told reporters the case involves a lack of information.

"I think it's important for people to sit down face to face and look each other in the eye and respect one another and talk through the issues and come up with positive solutions to address those issues," Meyer said.

While the mayor says he will not be calling in the GBI to investigate the Fire Department, the council did vote to add all public safety agencies to the audit list.

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