Milledgeville council member: ‘Trust has been betrayed’

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Milledgeville councilman’s decision to record fellow members without notice is causing a major dispute between the group.

Council member Denese Shinholster says she lost trust in District 4 council member, Walter Reynolds once he recorded the group having a conversation after a public session on March 3 discussing plans to transfer city funds out of Century Bank and Trust.

The bank’s president and concerned citizen, Chat Daniel, wrote a letter to the editor of the town’s newspaper,The Union-Recorder, on January 22.

Daniel’s letter scrutinized his local government for its consolidation proposal, lack of requesting citizens’ vote.

“My initial reaction was here’s a man who is stating his opinion, you know, this is his right to critic his government, and he doesn’t believe that some members of council are doing due diligence,” says Reynolds.

He adds says due to the contents of the public letter, the decision to transfer funds may come as a form of “retaliation.”

“I was looking out for the best interest of the city,” says Reynolds.

Shinholster was unable to be interviewed on camera, but she says she would not have mind Reynolds recording anything, but a courteous warning ‘would have been ideal.’

The recording captures city manager, Barry Jarrett and Shinholster giving their opinion on the letter Daniel wrote.

Jarrett: May I ask a question? What’s wrong with retaliation?

Shinholster: Yeah.

Jarrett: It’s the way you do business.

Shinholster: They were retaliating against us.

According to Shinholster, the city manager was already working on finding another bank with a better interest rate for $5.1 million of the city funds before Reynolds recorded the conversation.

“A lot of this, I think, came down to injured egos,” Reynolds says, “It came down to folks who felt like they were being personally ridiculed.”

According to Jeanette Walden, the money has been moved to Wells Fargo.

Shinholster says, interest rates there are 2.5% versus Century Bank and Trust’s .5% interest rate.

Categories: Local News

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