Commission discusses gun report

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- Remaining tight-lipped on what they deemed to be a personnel matter, the Albany City Commission discussed in closed session Tuesday whether the city attorney violated city policy when he was found to have a handgun stored in his desk drawer last week.

Tuesday, City Attorney Nathan Davis reserved comment on a report that a pistol was discovered in his desk, as the city commission met presumably to determine whether doing so violated any standing city policy.

According to a city memo, when interviewed Thursday by Albany Mayor Willie Adams in the presence of City Manager Alfred Lott and Assistant City Manager James Taylor, Davis acknowledged that he had indeed been keeping a pistol in his desk in his office at the Albany Law Enforcement Center, and had been doing so for about a year and a half.

The memo states that Davis removed the pistol from his office when the report was made.

Davis -- who does not have a permit to carry a handgun -- according to the memo, reportedly told Adams that he was unsure as to why he had been keeping the gun in the desk drawer. But it may stem from Davis' ongoing personal security concerns that originated from a robbery attempt in 2006, when an armed assailant pulled a gun on Davis outside of his home and demanded money.

Davis managed to successfully escape without turning over his wallet, but the suspect has never been caught.

At issue for the commission is whether Davis violated any city policy.

Currently, the only policy that exists is an administrative policy banning weapons from being kept by city employees in city buildings. That policy, however, apparently only applies to employees who answer to the city manager. Davis, a political appointee of the commission, does not.

Human Resources Director Mary Lamont said Tuesday that the city's current personnel policy, which was implemented by the commission and does apply to Davis, does not contain any provision that she's aware of that prohibits an employee from possessing a weapon in the workplace.

The memo does not state the make and caliber of the handgun or whether it was loaded at the time, but does state that it was kept "in his drawer under a pile of papers, not readily visible."

A knife was also found in Davis' desk.