Milledgeville City Council Members speak out about ethics complaints

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – About two months ago, some Milledgeville residents filed an ethics complaint against some City Council members. 

The group of residents claims some council members held an illegal meeting in March of 2013 and at the meeting, they voted to move money from one bank, to another. The complaint accuses the council of moving the money in an act of retaliation against the President of Century Bank.

“It’s ridiculous. I’ve served on council for 17 years. I’ve looked after my constituents and looked after the city of Milledgeville and that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” said Jeanette Walden, Milledgeville City Council member.

Walden said this was not an act of retaliation. It was simply the best move. She added the council followed procedure when when moving the money, just like they do every time. 

“It was moved. We’re making over 70-thousand dollars in interest and it keeps our constituents from having to raise their taxes,” explained Walden.

As for the illegal meeting, council member Denese Shinholster said that is just a big misunderstanding.

“We were leaving an official meeting and some of us had walked out of the room when we heard a conversation among some council members and the city manager and we came back in to give our opinion,” explained Shinholster.

Shinholster added the council members weren’t aware Walter Reynolds, a fellow council member, was recording the discussion. 

A Milledgeville resident believes this is bigger than just an ethics complaint. Iva Griffin thinks the group that filed the complaint has a hidden agenda.

“The county’s in a mess. The city is functioning and doing wonderful and has money. I believe this is all about consolidation, getting the city money, and getting the county out of a mess,” said Griffin.

At tonight’s meeting, the board discussed the appointments of a new ethics committee. Some of the residents believe the City Council shouldn’t appoint members to the ethics committee because there is a conflict of interest with this pending complaint.

No decision was made because Mayor Richard Bentley said he is going to verify if they can allow a third party’s decision.

Categories: Local News

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