Milledgeville residents file ethics complaint against city

Milledgeville residents file ethics complaint against city

Several concerned citizens say they want a majority of council members out.
Melba Burrell, a concerned resident, files a complaint.  (Skyler Henry)
Melba Burrell, a concerned resident, files a complaint. (Skyler Henry)
MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Residents in Milledgeville say they want several of their city council members out. A group filed an ethics complaint against city officials Tuesday in reference to the recent troubles facing the city.

"We asked that they resign," Melba Burrell, one of the concerned citizens, said.

She says she has no plans on stopping.

"We would hope that they would operate within the confines of the ethics board, and they can censor them, or ask them to resign," Burrell said.

The complaint points out an alleged illegal meeting involving a majority of council members that violates the state's Open Meetings Law.

During the meeting in question, city officials were said to have conspired to move millions of dollars from one bank to another after the bank's owner wrote a column in a Milledgeville paper criticizing local leaders.

The ethics complaint includes all but one city council member, Walter Reynolds. He was the whistleblower. Reynolds was only council member 41NBC was able to reach by phone, and he says he understands the citizens' concerns.

"We were called in to see what sort of action we wanted to take, and no action was taken at that time. I think that the citizens of this community are just not satisfied with their council doing nothing in light of this situation," Reynolds said.

The complaint also points out city manager Barry Jarrett and city attorney Jimmy Jordan.

"I would like to see our city move forward," Burrell said.

"It's alright to have problems. Everybody has problems, but you have to do something about it. You have to fix it. You can't ignore it, and expect it to go away," Reynolds said.

Burrell says the process is a long one, but she's prepared. An ethics complaint has to go through the city manager to the board of ethics. From there, the board will make a recommendation to the city council.

"City officials who have already participated in retaliatory actions against a private citizen, what hope do we really have that they'll be fair with the charges that are being brought against them," she said.

Burrell says she plans on meeting with a group on Thursday to plan on taking possible legal action should council dismiss the complaint.


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