Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
July 24, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 24, 2019

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July24, 2019 Page 7A iR orter Continued from Front helluva lot more than you do" Evans responded, "They (Hubbard Alumni) get $2,700 a year. That's noth- ing" Ambrose replied, "That's fine, Larry, we'll keep spending it, but you told everybody out there (in the audience) I don't care about the constituents here. That's wrong" Evans retorted: "I'm only going by your actions" Commission chairman Greg Tapley said he doesn't like commissioners bring- ing up items that aren't on the agenda because it often leads to disputes. Tapley said, "It's offthe cuff. We get into argu- ments. It's not formalized. It's not appropriate. It's not professional. It'd be better if we put it on the agenda and bring it, and we all get our information ahead of time. Same thing with the public comments. I love for the public to speak. I want them to do so, but it l be nice if they made us aware ahead of time of their issue or their question so that we can research it and have an answer for them as op- posed to them coming up and making a comment or having a question and then us having to sit there and go, 'Uh, well I don't know. I'll find out.' It would be better if we didn't have this portion of it unless we had a public speaking policy as it pertains to time, as it pertains to arguing or anything like that" District 4 commissioner George Emami said he thinks citizens should be allowed to speak at meet- ings without having to get on the agenda in advance but said he's fine with put- ring a time restriction on public comments. When Tapley called for a motion to set a public comment policy for meet- ings, Ambrose said he didn't want to take a vote without county attorney Ben Vaughn present. Ambrose then changed the subject abruptly and said he still wants answers as to what Evans said to county purchasing agent Phyllis larrell in an April dispute over Jarrell's failure to hire Evans' preferred candidate for a job. Vaughn has thus far refused to release the results of an independent review of the matter by Alpharetta attorney Steven Greene, saying he needs a majority of commissioners to support the public re- lease of the probe. Despite county taxpayers helping to fund the $3,570 investiga- tion, Ambrose was the lone commissioner to endorse its release. Ambrose said, "Dadgum it, firm a commissioner and I can't see it or read it, and we paid for it, that's crazy." Tapley interjected: "We paid for a recommenda- tion, and we got it." Ambrose asked. "And why can't I read it?" Evans answered Am- brose's query: "The same reason that I can't read where an employee accused you of asking her for sex" in reference to an unsub- stantiated accusation levied in 2018 by a former county employee that Ambrose propositioned the employ- ee for sex while she worked for the county. Ambrose replied that he leamed of the ex- employee's claim during a dosed session with Vaughn and said he would have sued the employee if she had made the accusation publicly. Ambrose subse- quently accused Evans of violating the county's new ethics policy, enacted in June following Evans' own incident, by revealing in a public forum a matter dis- cussed in dosed session. Ambrose then asked to address the audience, which included county de- partment heads who were awaiting the start of a sepa- rate meeting with county manager Jim Hedges, to tell the full story of the former employee's accusation. But Tapley stopped Ambrose and demanded to continue with county business. "I actually don't think this is appropriate" Tapley said. "R1 like to continue with public comments" Commissioners then listened to public com- ments for 10 minutes and adjourned the meeting without further disagree- ment. Later the same day, Ambrose filed a formal complaint against Evans in a notarized letter to Mon- roe County Clerk Janet Abbott. Ambrose wrote: "He (Evans) slandered me by making statements in open meeting pertaining to information that was discussed in Executive Ses- sion, which is a violation of Monroe County's Ethics Ordinance By doing so, I believe he is guilty of slan- der and defamation of my character and violated the Ethics Ordinance, which forbids disclosing contents of an Executive Session" The county's new code of ethics, passed last month, calls for an outside panel to investigate such com- plaints. 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