It’s easy to miss things in the mess that was left in the wake of Hurricane Don (Buie). However, an email this weekend left me wondering a thing or two. As we all know, Don Buie was arrested for domestic violence. It was all over the news, as we all remember.
So what’s going on now? Well, I want to know how in the hell the City didn’t know something considering how many times his name flowed through the Georgia Crime Information Computer (GCIC) system.
When City Manager Al Lott told Jennifer Emert that he knew the media would find out about the conviction eventually, it led some who knew about the GCIC checks to wonder when Lott knew. After all, the press would find out eventually … after everything that had happened. But Lott may well have known months earlier and did nothing.
Buie checked on his application that he had never been convicted of a felony, despite having actually been. Had Lott known months prior to the whole Buie-gate scandal exploding in his face, would he have acted? After all, he’s a public servant, right? While that’s technically true, Lott doesn’t act like one most of the time. He prefers to not answer some members of the media, and even some members of the public if he can help it. He even seems to have made a habit of not responding to Georgia Open Records Law requests whenever he can get out of it.
The fact of the matter is that Lott had a convicted felon working for him with practically zero oversight by anyone. Lott is reported to not be the kind to call references to see what we were getting as well. Now, the public trust has been destroyed and we don’t know if this could have been avoided … or at least minimized. Does anyone in the city even care?
Written by Tom Knighton.