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Sylvia Cooper: Sias trial shows if you strut like a peacock, you can get plucked like one

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Augusta Press.) 

Suspended Augusta Commissioner Sammie Sias walked to the stand like a peacock and testified at his own trial Friday against the advice of his attorneys, an...

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19 COMMENTS

  1. “As an elected official, you’ve got to keep your hands off taxpayers’ money. I didn’t know how he was using it, but I knew it was against the rules. I asked for a key and never did get it.” If only his ears heard what his mouth said. Translation: “I suspected he was embezzling public funds, but I did not report it or do anything to stop it. I wanted in on the deal, but he said no.” Marion Williams will probably say something similar about Hardie Davis after that dust settles. Commissioners who looked the other way while their fellow elected officials steal public money are just a guilty as the official committing the crime. BTW, Mayor Davis is probably MIA to avoid subpoena servers and interviews with FBI agents.

    So long, Sammie. How long before you are permanently removed from office and the paycheck stops?

    • Tedd, Marion did complain often, loudly and publicly about Sammie rule over Jamestown. In response, at one point, Sammie made a presentation before the commission with photos of the improvements he’d made at Jamestown shown on a big screen, and the commissioners seemed to be well satisfied with that. That was a good while back. Wish I could remember exactly. It did seem like he’d done a lot of work.

  2. “It just goes to show that at the end of the day, if you do wrong, you’re going to get caught,” she said. “We work for the taxpayers. We need to be doing a better job of handling their money. Politicians get a bad rap. We need to change that.”

      • Sorry..using my cell and it’s not cooperating…the corruption in Augusta runs so deep and has been going on for so long it will never stop and people will get away with the things they’ve done…it’s so blatant now Hardie just does what he wants to even tho Scott Hudson finds the dirt..nothing is done and he will keep doing what he is doing until he leaves Augusta for some other appointment or office where he can keep trying to hide his nonsense…

  3. THE major issue with the deterioration of the city/county: “(How about weeding out incompetent managers who run off good employees with experience and the knowledge to make things work, and hiring based on qualifications, not kinfolks, cronies and color?)”

  4. The Lowe’s Military discount policy that Sammie received very plainly states that purchases are for Personal Use Only. Again Sammie lied! When Lowe’s is notified of his theft of their 10% discount Lowe’s should be compensated by Sammie. People like Sammie that lie to Lowe’s and misuse their discount could cause Lowe’s to discontinue the Military discount program.

  5. I’ll getting up there in age. I’ve worked at a few different places and seen conditions my friends have worked under. There definitely are sorry employees that are allowed to hang around way too long. But the most common factor I have seen that contribute to good employees leaving a position is definitely incompetent bosses. We all have had or currently have them. They ruin morale and suck the life out of positive productivity by their micro-management, their haughty attitudes, their lack of communication skills, and refusal to listen to qualified employee’s opinions. And, at times, THEIR supervisors are also out of touch in realizing who THEY have working under them. So, people quit. I’ve worked at 3 of the area’s hospitals and have learned many things…one of which is that if some place offers a sign-on bonus, RUN!! The bonuses discussed here, with the city?? Same thing…RUN! If they have to ply employees with bonus incentives, that’s because they want you to take it, shut up and just stay & do your work without complaining.

  6. This is a crucial step toward gaining some trust in local government. Step two will be to go after another “peacock” sitting on the Mayor’s office. I’m hopeful that another step will be accomplished with the newly elected continuing to move forward. However, until oversight becomes a prevalent term with local government, this type of situation may not be eliminated. Giving a person who cannot balance a checkbook free reign over hundreds of thousands of dollars is a recipe for failure

  7. Sylvia you hit the nail on the head !!! Incompetent Department Heads , Nepotism, And the Good O’l Boys system is what we are suffering from in city government , due to a few commissioners who want to see only one color throughout the City Government . Certain Commissioners for years have been appointing and placing their cronies in certain positions throughout City Government to control the flow of money and contracts. The entire Government needs to be evaluated in the city of Augusta! A better system of tracking taxpayers dollars needs to be put in place with accountability measures. Our honest Commissioners need to look into the storm water fees and those contracts and see who they are given out to and given out by whom. Our Precurement Department in the City of Augusta needs to be the first Department to be restructured !!! And when it comes to pay raises, it should be performance based only ! Each Department needs to be restructureed to cut the fat at the top ! By doing so it should be enough freed up money to pay the lower teared employees needing a raise without costing the taxpayers any money !!!!!

    • Why didn’t you run against Sean Do-Nothing Frantom last time? You told folks, including me that you were, and because of that, others stayed out, and I figured that was your intent. Sean is a sellout and not a very good politician, yet you kept the field clear for him to run unopposed. Why?

      • Brad you are correct. I have supported Sean for both of his terms and have agreed with about 95 % of his views on subject matters . Unlike you I reside in the real world and not in movie never ever land.

  8. As the discussion about this case progressed on Facebook last night, a local Augusta person who I truly admire for all of the things he has done for Augusta and our Country, stated he was a little torn about the conviction. What I said was that the conviction was correct — Sammie destroyed evidence and lied to a Federal official. The actual theft of dollars has yet to be addressed. Buying a $600 washer/dryer, and then submitting a $2000 fund request — that has not been addressed. It needs to be. As @Bruce_Storm stated, the Military Discount afforded by Lowe’s was abused. I’m a Lowe’s stockholder, and am proud of what Lowe’s does, both providing a discount, as well as the Veteran employment that they try their best to provide. There is still some work to be done here…Who is going to proceed ?

  9. How do they decide who to go after and who to ignore in the “rule breaking, law breaking, corruption” department? I l think you just want to NOT be the person they go after. I wish it was not political. I wish it was on the merits of the evidence or the abundance of evidence that made the determination, I am glad that they got one more corrupt person out of office. But, it is still sad when you are pulled over on the interstate for going 18 over the speed limit and you seem people go by at 30 mph over the speed limit and they don’t even seem to care. Keep clean in your dealings because your sins will find you out. Know it.

  10. Justice was done, FINALLY!! But, clearly the county commissioners aided and abetted this violation of trust by giving Sias, through their total lack of oversight, the opportunity to fleece we taxpayers. Anyone in government who can award contracts without competitive bidding has the door to criminality opened very wide. Audits??? Apparently, none! Clearly a strong message to our fair city/county that must have a thorough audit by an outside, independent auditor. Hopefully, lack of oversight of managers who seem in some/many cases to keep their employees happy and build cohesive teams, sends a strong, repeat strong, message to the council to cut the smoke and mirrors and hire an auditor to get to work across the entire cty/county structure! Next on the prison list will be our outgoing mayor. Again, the council failed miserably in holding his absentee, credit card with no receipts landlord’s feet to the financial accountability fire. We taxpayers are owed a responsible county government oversight that insures honest and efficient use of our funds.

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