Mayor Wetherington grilled over battalion chief's allegations

By James Valles – email | Facebook | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA. (WTVM) - Discussion on a proposed ordinance that would change how the city conducts its audits has been delayed after, Evelyn Turner Pugh, Mayor Pro-Tem, was absent from Tuesday's Columbus Council meeting.

The proposed changes follow a scandal involving suspended Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams and how his department spent $100,000.

Pugh made revisions to the proposed ordinance, which would require a written response to be filed within 10 days with the Internal Auditor before the audit is seen by city officials.

Georgia's NAACP President Edward DuBose had planned to address council on the way the Parks and Recreation audit was handled, but, instead, pled with Mayor Jim Wetherington to get the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate allegations made by Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Janice Bruner that her life was endangered after a city employee or someone allegedly tampered with the city car she was driving.

"To take nails, or to come out and find nails plotted under your vehicle, that's what Janice Bruner is going through." Dubose explains. "This is like an act of terrorism."

Mayor Wetherington questioned why it took thirteen months for the chief to come forward with the allegations.

"We don't know sir, Mr. DuBose how those screws were placed there," Wetherington said. "I don't know where she picked them up at. She could have picked them up on the road. Have you ever had a nail in your tire?"

The mayor said he felt a thorough internal investigation had already been conducted and refused to get the GBI involved.

Another issue on the agenda pertained to combining recycling services for Fort Benning and Columbus. Isaiah Hugley, the City Manager, said more time is needed before reaching a decision.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for August 10th.