Says reason was regarding treatment of Fire Chief James three years ago
“Anytime there is an issue with money being mismanaged, we need to do an audit to make sure that everything is accountable for,” Commissioner Bill Fennoy stated Friday afternoon at the Municipal Building, speaking to reporters after Sammy Sias’s press conference
So it seemed surprising to many that Fennoy was one of two commissioners voting against the commission’s action yesterday requesting the GBI step in and audit the Jamestown Community Center.
The Metro Spirit asked the commissioner about his apparent change of heart. “My main concern is the process my colleagues go by, and besides that about 3 or 4 years ago the firefighter’s union sent the administrator, the press and all the commissioners a letter that Chief James had mismanaged six million dollars,” Fennoy stated.
“You would think with that type of accusation it would have warranted an audit. They went so far as to, after chief James ha resigned and accepted a position as Deputy Administrator of Rock Hill, they sent that letter to Rock Hill and the City of Rock Hill rescinded their offer to Chief James.”
“But there was no audit. Looks like if someone accused an employee of mismanaging six million dollars, wouldn’t you think they would want there to be an audit to see if mismanagement took place?”
“Now we have a disgruntled lover, I don’t know who’s disgruntled, whether it’s him or her, but we have a disgruntled lover that talks about mismanagement of $150,000 in SPLOST and all of a sudden we want to call in the GBI the FBI to do an investigation,” Fennoy stated.
“So if you’re going to investigate one, why not investigate the other? Or if you’re not going to investigate one, why are you investigating the other?” “What I suggested we do is whoever made the accusation against Chief James give them two weeks off with pay and let them bring us evidence that he mismanaged the money and if they can’t do that terminate them.”
“Because we cannot have people accusing our departments heads, our administrator, or even our elected leaders and not have anything to back it up with.”
“That is why I voted no. It wasn’t that I don’t want an investigation, but I have issues with the process.”
“And the question that I asked is what are we going to do when someone else decides to accuse an employee or an elected official of wrongdoing?”
“Either we investigate them all or don’t investigate at all. Make them bring us evidence that wrong doing has taken place and turn it over to the proper authorities. That’s my position.”
“I had offered that up when the when Chief James was accused and I reminded them yesterday of the position that we took when Chief James was accused and wanted to know the difference.”
“I don’t personally, I don’t believe Commissioner Sias did anything wrong. And personally I don’t think Chief James did anything wrong.”
“But again we can’t we can’t let people assassinate the character of our elected officials or our department heads.”
“And what happens when another elected official or employee is accused of doing something wrong? I just believe in fairness and I think that we ought to be consistent and how we handle situations like this.”