Milledgeville mayor calling on council to decide city manager's fate

Milledgeville mayor calling on council to decide city manager's fate

The mayor of Milledgeville is asking city council to decide if city manager should lose his job over "retaliation" remarks.
MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley is calling on the city council to decide whether city manager, Barry Jarrett, should lose his job.

The mayor announced this Friday in the wake of a controversial conversation that was recorded between Jarrett and members of city council.

"I may have heard some statements that (the Mayor has) made, but I'm not going to comment at this time," Jarrett told 41NBC.

During the highlighted exchange, Jarrett said "What's wrong with retaliation?... It's the way you do business."

Jarrett made those comments after one city council member questioned why the city moved money out of Century Bank and Trust. In January, the president of the bank, Chat Daniel, wrote an opinion column criticizing the city's handling of consolidation.

Council member Walter Reynolds recorded the conversation. He told 41NBC on Monday he questioned whether moving the money was an act of retaliation.

The mayor confirmed the money was moved legally, however, he said Jarrett's remarks were "disappointing and embarrassing."

"We all say things we regret I understand that completely. However, our community is asking the same question, and it's my job to make sure that we are, we try to be an ethical body," said Bentley.

Bentley added it's up to the council to decide if Jarrett should resign, be fired, or retire.

In a written statement to the media, Bentley said, "I am truly fond of Barry and his family and I have respect for him. However, in light of these recent events, I will ask Council to consider to move the management of the city in a different direction. I have respectfully spoke to Barry about this matter... I feel, although this is an extremely difficult decision, it is in the best interest of the city."

Bentley also said while it's not illegal, he's not happy with Reynolds decision to record the conversation.

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