In a statement dated Oct. 8, the City of Douglasville said that since 2007 there have been 284 instances of a Douglasville elected official being paid for attending a meeting or other public event which did not appear to be consistent with the City's criteria.
Of the 284 instances, 91 of these were identified by the GBI as pertaining to former Mayor Mickey Thompson. That leaves a total of 193 activities to be accounted for.
All current Douglasville elected officials and all former City Council members contacted by the City Attorney’s Office have agreed to reimburse the City government for payments they had received for attending activities considered to be questionable, according to the City's statement (attached.)
Councilman Samuel Davis will pay back the highest amount among those currently serving the City, $4,500 for 36 meetings. Former Councilman John Schildroth tops the list of former City officials, repaying $5,500 for 44 meetings.
For each meeting, the Mayor is paid $313 and each Council member is paid $125.
"I want to emphasize each of these men and women willingly agreed to reimburse the City government for the 193 instances still deemed to be questionable, with most of the current and former officials planning to reimburse the entire amount within the next month and with the others agreeing on a repayment plan of minimum monthly payments to be completed before the end of calendar 2013," Mayor Harvey Persons said in the statement.
"I'm told that on some occasions when the former Mayor authorized a payment for himself or when he did so at the request of a Council member, the same payment was approved by him for other Council members who were in attendance for that activity even if they did not submit a payment request," Persons said.
Persons also pointed out that of the 10 questioned meetings he approved, all but three were for the April 20 meeting the City Council has had annually for the past several years with approximately 400 second graders.
"I believed this meeting fit the criteria; and, as a result, I approved payment for myself and for the six Council members who attended," he said in the statement. "This April 20 event is the only instance of myself and City Council members Doug Lequire, Carl Pope, and Mark Adams being paid for a meeting subsequently termed as questionable."
Upon a thorough internal review, it was determined that no agenda for this April 20 event had been posted as required; therefore, each of the seven elected officials who participated in this event are reimbursing the City government.
"In closing," Persons said, "let me point out the City Council on Oct. 1 unanimously adopted a resolution to change the method of payment for the City' s elected officials from a per meeting basis to a fixed monthly salary basis. Currently, we are reviewing how to accomplish this in accordance with State election laws governing a change in the level of an elected official's compensation level other than at the start of the term of office for those elected at the next regular municipal election in Nov. 2013.
"I have said from the day I took office in January that the City of Douglasville needed to change how its elected officials are paid," continued Persons. "I remain committed to seeing that this is done, and all members of the current City Council are in total agreement with this statement."
The following is a list of current elected officials, the number of meetings they're paying back to the City and the amount to be reimbursed.
- Mark Adams, 1, $125
- Lashun Danley, 30, $3,750
- Sam Davis, 36, $4,500
- Douglas Lequire, 1, $125
- Dennis McLain, 21, $2,625
- Harvey Persons, 1, $313
- Carl Pope, 1, $125
- Larry Yockey, 16, $2,000
The following is a list of former elected officials, the number of meetings they're paying back to the City and the amount to be reimbursed.
- Charles Banks, 2, $250
- Michael Carter, 1, $125
- Callye Holmes, 9, $1,125
- Terry Miller, 20, $2,500
- Roy Mims, 7, $875
- Henry Mitchell III, 3, $375
- John Schildroth, 44, $5,500
Here are related Douglasville Patch articles:
Former Mayor Mickey Thompson Among 78 Indicted by Grand Jury Today
Should Mayor and City Council Members Get Paid Per Meeting?