James Bush, chairman of the Dougherty County School Board, discusses an agenda item with the board as Superintendent Joshua Murfree looks on Monday.
ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County School Board on Monday voted 5-1-1 to fire human resources director Tracy Williams, who was involved in an altercation Friday at the School Administration Building.
Milton “June Bug” Griffin was the lone School Board member who opposed the dismissal, and Anita Williams-Brown abstained.
The Board spent just over a half-hour meeting in executive session before returning to approve Williams’ termination
Earlier Monday, DCSS Police Chief Troy Conley confirmed to The Albany Herald that an “incident” had taken place Friday between Williams and a female co-worker in the School Administration Building. The co-worker was later identified by a source as Lynn Cook.
“There was an incident involving her (Williams) on Friday afternoon,” Conley said. “But we are not clear on exactly what happened. No incident report was filed and there is no on-going criminal investigation. If you want more information you’ll need to talk to (DCSS Superintendent Joshua) Dr. Murfree.”
When asked about the incident, Murfree refused to comment about the altercation.
According to a source, there was no physical contact between the two women, but Williams was said to have “cornered her (Cook) in a file room and began berating her.”
According to another source, “Murfree sent Williams home with pay.”
The incident occurred just two days after School System Attorney Tommy Coleman sent a letter to board members expressing his concern that the system ran the risk of ending up in court over the conduct of its personnel director.
In the letter, obtained by The Herald late Monday, Coleman wrote: “... Ms. Williams has been abusive to subordinates as well as senior staff resulting in a number of longtime employees choosing to resign rather than continue in their positions in the Dougherty County School System.”
Williams is no stranger to controversy. In May at a called School Board meeting — with board members Velvet Riggins and Williams-Brown absent — the School Board voted not to renew the contracts of Williams and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dianne Daniels by a 3-2 vote.
Board members Carol Tharin, David Maschke and Darrel Ealum voted against the contract renewals with board chair James Bush and Milton Griffin voting for renewals.
The non-renewal caused contention on the board, with Bush calling the decision “reprehensible” and Griffin briefly storming out of the board room.
Less than two weeks later, the full board voted 4-3 to rehire Williams and Daniels, with Williams-Brown and Riggins joining Bush and Griffin to reverse the earlier decision.
In other action Monday night, the board unanimously approved change orders to Phase I renovations at Albany and Dougherty high schools.
The board also unanimously approved spending $551,284 for 214 desktop computers and $45,605 for 47 laptop computers.
The board will hold a two-day advance/training session today and Wednesday. The Board’s next regular meeting is set for Sept. 28 with a briefing at 11:30 a.m. followed by its regular session at 12:30 p.m.