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Dougherty School personnel director fired

James Bush, chairman of the Dougherty County School Board, discusses an agenda item with the board as Superintendent Joshua Murfree looks on Monday.

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.

Comments

meme 2 years, 7 months ago

What is the point of sending someone home with pay?? If someone does something wrong isn't the point of repremanding someone to punish them? I would love a free vacation, maybe I should go work for DCSS. Also, if she has had other problems while in her position then why is she still employeed with DCSS. Why are we as taxpaying citizens forced to have this type of nonsense going on within the system that is responsible for educating our children????? DCSS needs to be wiped clean and bring in some employees who value their jobs and what it means to work for the school system.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree with your first statement. However, that may be DCSS's personnel policy. If it is, they have to abide by that or face other consequences. A personnel policy shouldn't allow this very employee-friendly policy; if you are sent home, you don't get paid. If you get exonerated later, then it's easy enough to pay you back later. When an employee is paid up front, you never get that back. You're paying an employee for bad behavior.

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Momof3 2 years, 7 months ago

Ten to one, nothing else happens. Constant problems with this woman and nothing has been done. She keeps getting a slap on the hand and that's it. What kind of example is that setting for our children? If she can't control her temper OR do her job, she needs to be gone, I don't care WHO her friends are. Period.

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waltspecht 2 years, 7 months ago

How about terroristic threats? Assault by intimidation? Illegal detension? Plus if she prevented the other women from leaving, impeded her in any way, isn't that kidnapping? Come on Conley, do your job. As far as Murfree and the other four I hope they get cited by name on any law suit filed, and held accountable for the Personnel Director they chose to keep when her faults were known and a matter of Public Record. What do you pay Tommy for if you don't listen to him?

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Local 2 years, 7 months ago

There are many good employees at DCSS that do not deserve your comments, "meme". As in ALL businesses there are bad apples. They will deal with this one as the law allows.

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Momof3 2 years, 7 months ago

Actually @ Local, I disagree with you. While all businesses DO have bad apples, hearing about the same one over and over is getting tiring when nothing is being done about it. And it's not fair nor does it set a good example, parents, students OR the other teachers who are dong their jobs that she's get to do what she wants, when she wants.

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EddieG 2 years, 7 months ago

<p>@Local.........problem with that line of thinking is that the law ain't gonna do a damn thing. End of story. The DCSS continues to fight tooth and nail to keep idiots and morons employed in places of power and decision making.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 7 months ago

This just proves that the "Failed Four" are protecting others. If the City gets sued over this then we should make the "Failed Four" pay up instead of the tax payers.

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Local 2 years, 7 months ago

No, the difference is the media isn't in these other businesses constantly highlighting their employees. ALL businesses DO have bad apples! If yours doesn't, please name it so it can win an award. And the law works, just not the way your hateful heart wants it to.

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EddieG 2 years, 7 months ago

You're missing the point..........or just playing dumb. You would have to be Ray Charles to not see the same stupid stunts pulled over and over by the DCSS bigwigs.

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guesttoo 2 years, 7 months ago

No, the difference is not the media but that this employee's salary is paid by the taxpaying people of Dougherty County and her bad behavior IS our business. Seem like you are condoning her behavior or is she really close to you?????

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wilson 2 years, 7 months ago

Exactly! Local; what goes on inside a "private" business is NONE of your business. What the DCSS does with our tax dollars IS our business.

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Local 2 years, 7 months ago

I am neither "deaf, dumb or blind", and sure am glad I don't know any of you PERFECT people with hateful outlooks personally. If you have all of the right answers why aren't you on the board?? What a group you are, spouting on and on about "your" tax dollars. Taxes are and will most likely always be a part of life in America. You will NEVER have it spent YOUR way!!

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Momof3 2 years, 7 months ago

Its not about having it our way, its really not. But right is right and wrong is wrong. You can't go off on employees like that and expect nothing to happen all the time. And its not the first time. And not ALL of us can be on the School Board but what we can do is get out and VOTE if the ones on it are not doing what they are suppose to. And any iodiot knows taxes will be a part of life until we die, but that doesn't mean that they need to be watsed either. Just saying.....

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wilson 2 years, 7 months ago

When the majority of voters don't pay taxes (the case in many Albany districts) you get the kind of representation we have on the DCSS board. Since the voters don't pay taxes they aren't concerned about the "value" they are getting for their contribution and the elected officials can do what they please (like hiring #34) without fear of voter backlash. If you don't pay maybe you shouldn't play.

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Momof3 2 years, 7 months ago

WOW.. well I must say I am surpriosed they fired her but oh well.... you can't treat people any kind of way and get away with it for long

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Somebody 2 years, 7 months ago

Ironically "Local" was right on this one. The headline reads "Dougherty School Board Director Fired". Apparently they dealt with it. No thanks to Milton JB Griffin or Anita Williams.

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iblukewarm 2 years, 7 months ago

The "Good Ol' Bro" network is alive and well at the DCSS. Every time common sense is trumped by what will be good for the "network" it comes back to kick them in the ^*#! It is high time that the black "leaders" (used loosely) in this community rise above the fray and think of the good of the whole community!

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Quantraveious 2 years, 7 months ago

$551,284 for 214 desktop computers? That's $2,576 per computer! Someone's getting a huge kickback.

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Momof3 2 years, 7 months ago

And the laptops are like 920.00 a laptop.... I was thinking the same thing!! Another watse cause they sure are not getting a deal!

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