The City Council convened this afternoon and voted to overturn the decision to rehire a prison lieutenant. He was originally fired for having a sexual relationship with a subordinate and for showing favoritism to employees.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson challenged a previous decision by the Personnel Review Board. She asked council to overturn the panel's decision to reinstate Lieutenant Little Lynn at the Muscogee County Prison and let the firing stand.
The lieutenant took the stand Tuesday in an attempt to keep his job.
Just before the noon hour Tuesday, Lt. Lynn said in council chambers, "Let me tell you this … regardless of what one would say about me – I would challenge anyone to get to know me first. I am a professional. I [have] always been regardless of my shortcomings. As far as taxpayers' money…I would never do such a thing. That's why I work. That's why I do what I do. I take care of my family. I'm not going to take any taxpayers' money and do anything illegally. If you don't believe anything I tell you this afternoon, you believe that because it is true."
The case centers on a state investigation ordered by the mayor last fall. Its findings revealed allegations of gross misconduct by the staff and sexual relationships that may have led to special treatment and mistreatment of prison inmates. Georgia Department of Corrections lead investigator Stuart Minor said Lt. Lynn and Correctional Officer Angela Askew admitted to having a sexual affair. This relationship violates both state and city rules.
The city called several witnesses in the case against Lt. Lynn. Several Correction Officers at the prison said they felt Askew had access to extra over time hours due to her relationship with a "higher up." A representative from the Accounting Department of the Columbus Consolidated Government said Askew received more than $2,000 in overtime in 2010.
Other Correctional Officers said they did not feel confident that Lynn would protect them and keep them safe if he returned to the prison. Minor said staff moral has to be protected at a prison because prisoners can tell when there is no cohesion and may use it against officers.
The mayor gave her rebuttal just before council went into an executive session. She told Council she believed the personnel Review Board was misled and that is how they came to the "erroneous decision" to reinstate Lynn.
Shortly after the results from the investigation were released, former Warden Bill Adamson retired - many call it a forced retirement.
A new warden took over the prison and fired Lt. Lynn for the alleged affair. However, the Personnel Review Board gave the lieutenant his job back a few months later.
Now, Jackson said the only option Lynn has is to go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Lynn worked at the prison for 15 years. Before that, he spent 24 years in the Army.
Copyright 2012 WXTX. All rights reserved.