On a crisp Monday morning in December of 2014, Sammie Sias was sworn in as District 4 Commissioner-elect. As he approached the front of the commission chamber where Superior Court Judge Carl Brown was waiting to swear him in, he loudly barked, “Team Sias!”.
His family and friends immediately sprung to their feet like soldiers, quickly following Sias to the podium to watch him being sworn into office.
Sias gave much credit to his wife standing beside him. Without the support of his wife to care for his family, Sias said he “couldn’t have spent so much time saving the world,” one neighborhood at a time.
Today, on the lawn of the building where he was sworn in, there was no “Team Sias”.
There was just “Sias”.
Ever the confrontational, gruff retired soldier, he appeared in charge of his surroundings, taking the time to thank the clerk’s office for setting up the podium and PA.
You can say one thing about Sammy Sias. The man has sticktoitness. Today, standing in front of the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, he admitted to “an extended, consensual affair with Miss Hilton for two decades.”
His married next door neighbor.
He could have left the “consensual” part out.
Larry and Willa Hilton purchased a home next door to Sias in December of 2000. In May of last year, Mr. Hilton moved out and Willa placed the home in her name.
Damn. Just damn.
Not only did Sias carry on a 20 year affair with his neighbor’s wife, records show Larry Hilton even donated to Sias’ campaign.
Maybe Sias is the consummate politician after all.
Today, Sias addressed the allegations, but only the ones that do not involve criminal activity.
“The public embarrassment to my family because of my extramarital affair is something that I was trying to avoid and will regret for the rest of my life,” Sias stated.
What Sias did not deny were the allegations of theft of funds. “…took thousands of dollars from rentals and a summer camp program”…”he took thousands of SPLOST dollars from the neighborhood association and made up invoices”…according to Hilton’s allegations.
There was much ado about the small block community center and the children who attend. Many considered it a dodge of the serious allegations of theft that have been leveled against him.
He closed his statements with “When I’m into an issue, I stand on my own. I appreciate the folks that came, but I did not ask anyone to come. I want to make that clear. I really appreciate them coming, but when it’s time for me to face an issue, I face it head on. Again, thanks for coming.”
After a career in the military, where seniority and rank insulate one from consequences, Sias is in for a surprise.
There was zero repentance, contriteness or humility displayed today. The man let it be known he was being lied on by a bitter ex and she was not going to get away with it.
Time will tell what the looming audit has to say about that.