School System Finance Director, public information officer involved in altercation

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga. -- A question about a customer service survey allegedly sparked a heated argument and a "one-sided physical altercation" between key school system administrators.

Public Information Director R.D. Harter was on the receiving end of the incident that also involved Executive Director of Operations and Business Services Robert Lloyd on Aug. 11.

A request for comment to Superintendent Joshua Murfree about the incident was referred by his secretary to Harter in the public information office. Murfree also conducted interviews on the incident Monday afternoon, but reportedly no decision was immediately made by the school chief.

An Aug. 11 e-mail from Harter to Lloyd's secretary, Lanise Wright, questioned who had revised an employee survey.

Soon after, Lloyd began yelling before he reached Harter's back office on the third floor, and Harter met Lloyd at his door. Harter described the alleged incident as a "one-sided physical altercation" but declined to provide specifics of the incident.

"He came into my office without any control of his temper," Harter said. "I don't think unprofessional behavior should be allowed in any workplace and particularly in a school system, where all staff should model adult behavior."

Asked by an Albany Herald reporter at his second-floor office for a statement, Lloyd said with a smile, "I have no comment."

Harter said he provided a verbal statement to DCSS Police Chief Troy Conley. Harter was asked by Conley if he wanted to press charges against Lloyd, and Harter said he didn't.

The Herald called the DCSS Police Department for an incident report but was told by an official there that Assistant Chief J.C. Phillips was handling the case and no report had been filed yet.