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Lott opts to violate policy, uphold Reddish dismissal

By   /   November 18, 2010  /   Comments

By Kevin Hogencamp

In violation of city policy, inconsistent with earlier personnel decisions and without explanation, Albany City Manager Alfred Lott has upheld the firing of airport maintenance supervisor Sean Reddish.

Reddish is under indictment on theft charges for cashing in on $1,100 of scrap metal at the airport. City policy requires that an employee under felony indictment to be suspended without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Reddish’s criminal case has not been resolved; he maintains his innocence. Yet, airport Director Yvette Aehle fired Reddish, who appealed the decision.

Lott wrote in a Nov. 12 letters to Reddish’s attorney, Phil Cannon, after Reddish’s appeal hearing:

“I have reviewed all documents presented in Ms. Aehle’s termination recommendation and studied all documents and issues presented at the name clearing/appeal hearing of your client. Accordingly, I have decided to sustain Ms. Aehle’s termination recommendation. As a result, your client Sean C. Reddish’s employment with the City of Albany, Georgia is terminated, immediately. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

In addition to violating personnel policy, Lott did not follow protocol by citing the reason Reddish was fired.

In at least three recent cases, the city did not fire employees under felony indictment. Those employees are:

Police Cpl. Vincent Romone Wadley, accused of child molestation. He was fired after being convicted by a jury.

Fire Lt. Joey Paint, accused of child molestation and, later, theft. A jury found him innocent of child molestation, and he pleaded no contest to theft as a first-offender. He was fired after his criminal case was resolved, but a judge ordered that he be reinstated.

Assistant Fire Chief Roderick Jolivette, accused of impersonating a police officer. The charge was dropped and Jolivette remains on the job.

“I have tested my intended course of action with our personnel lawyers and Nathan,” Lott said last year. “Since Jolivette professes his innocence and has not made any admissions, I must treat this matter as innocent until proven guilty until there is an admission of guilt or verdict. This case could end up dismissed, Nolle prosequi, a guilty verdict or a not guilty verdict. Therefore, I must wait for the results before taking any further disciplinary actions.”

In another case, airport deputy director Kevin Harper was fired while he was under indictment. Lott said he made that decision, despite the personnel policy, because Harper admitted to Lott that he was guilty of the crime.

City policy states: “An employee who is arrested and charged with a felony may be suspended with pay by a general supervisor or above. However, suspension with pay is not mandatory if the employee is still able to perform the requirements of the job description. Upon review of the charges by a third party demonstrating guilt or an indictment by a grand jury, the employee will be suspended without pay. Such suspension will remain until the employee is exonerated or found not guilty.”

Reddish denies the theft charges and has produced a letter from a contractor stating that the contractor gave him the metal – old signage that had been replaced. Lott refuses to answer questions about the case, including whether he directed Aehle to violate policy and fire Reddish.

Upon Reddish’s arrest, Aehle maintained that Reddish didn’t break the law, but rather used bad judgment. Indeed, Aehle previously allowed Reddish and others bring a smaller amount of scrap metal to a recycling center to raise money for employee activities such as pizza parties, but Aehle and Reddish said that the employees never took Aehle up on her offer.

Reddish, who has a spotless personnel record and a favorable performance appraisal on file, had been suspended with pay until his indictment.

It’s not the only instance in which Reddish is being treated differently than other employees who have had run-ins with the law. It’s also contrary to the decision Lott made to keep Jolivette on the job following his indictment last year.

Public records also show that unlike in Reddish’s case, when a city Community and Economic Development employee forged federal weatherization documents, Lott kept the matter secret. Indeed, Lott withheld the forgeries from the federal government — the victim of Fletcher’s alleged transgressions — and asked for and received Fletcher’s resignation.

In quashing a potential investigation of Fletcher, Lott decided against the recommendation of City Attorney Nathan Davis that Fletcher be terminated because she defrauded the federal government.

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  1. Truth B Known says:

    I say everyone should do like AL,stay on the job anyway.AL gets away with it.He’s no better than anyone else.He breaks the law,and he dont get touched.
    What is our Police cheif waiting on?

  2. jimmy says:

    those snakes lied and broke the rules to ruin this man. now what do they got? they got a big mess and stuff that wont get fixed! all the time those horny toad cops cant even put a match out! al dont care about that does he? they all just do what they want. they want find a man to do the good job shawn did.

  3. Truth B Known says:

    Now if Lott would up hold his own dismissal,we may have a chance.I dont see that happening.All of our so called leaders have done things they should be locked up for.But they make the rules the way they want them to be.

  4. BillS says:

    Guess what citizens? Now there’s another investigation on the way for an airport safety official abusing the crime information center against another employee. You wouldn’t believe who it was against: Sean Reddish. I bet it’s the same one caught with his pants down. He wont get fired since he’s in a protected class. The city better wake up because this will be another strike against the city crooks in Mr. Reddish’s EEOC case.

  5. Truth B Known says:

    So AL,i am still waiting for charges to be filed against one,no make that 2 of your Officals.Dang make that all of them,becuase they have all stolen from albany in one way or another.

    1. BillS says:

      Truth B Known, you can forget about Al Loot and company doing anything noble. Their only concern is serving their own crooked racist agenda and covering their behinds no matter who they hurt in the process.

  6. Truth B Known says:

    I bet the City has had to buy new shreaders.After all the things from Lott to Nathan.Now they have a whole Lott more to shread.But you know what,you cant shread LaMonts tapes.Gottcha

  7. Truth B Known says:

    I feel for Sean,what was taken from a Offical from my moms home was over 4 thousand dollars worth of stuff,and i have a police report to prove that this person took it.And nothing has been done to this person.Could it be becuase she is Black,or just becuase she is an Offical.And they are worried about a little bit of tin.Money,jewelry,and memories were taken from my Mom,and her rights.And then to slander me on top of it.You all are good at putting the blame on someone else.
    I dont use the race card,i dont like it.but in this case it sure sounds fishie.
    Yes i feel discrimnated against,from all of you,Black white,man women,Mayor,city Mang.,gunslinger.Plus i am disabled,so you all thought becuase of that i would not have the money to fight you all.but i have friends also.And it may cost me everything my Mom left,but i dont care.Money does not mean everything to some people.But right and wrong does.

  8. BillS says:

    I wonder if Loot will dish out gags, manipulate statements and orders to destroy records to get him off the hook when this suit rolls around??? Of course he will be gone by then or he could just leave now. Plenty of damage is already done.

  9. BillS says:

    Having some knowledge about HR, the city shot themselves in the foot. If this criminal case gets thrown out, then how will the city stand behind this termination if Reddish sues? …and he should. The letter says because of his indictment of serious charges which is pretty shallow if /when this gets tossed. They’ve broken their own policies and then are too clumsy to cover their backsides because they are focused on beating down a white guy.

    A good HR person should advocate for an employee while upholding the organization’s policies and rule of law. They have not done this and its vulgarity is obvious. A good HR person would have caught this but they obviously don’t have that anymore, just another inept henchman. Maybe HR wasn’t involved with this since it seems Lott is arbitrarily calling the shots. Either way, they’ve opened themselves to a huge EEOC lawsuit.

  10. BillS says:

    I would be willing to bet that Lott ordered the termination and made the director eat it since he’s not man enough to own up to his own policy/ethics violation. I just don’t see where the Aehle would have went on record with her comments about Reddish not being guilty etc. then come back around to do this. Something really isn’t adding up there.

  11. Concerned says:

    Lott, Davis, the Mayor, Commissioners, they all lack conflict resolution skills. On the other hand, they all know they won’t be around when the bills start rolling in for all these lawsuits they’re piling on. Everyone responsible will be long gone living in luxury at the taxpayers expense while the taxpayers are being bombarded with court orders to pay millions. I hope the taxpaying citizens of the City of Albany will remember this when it’s time to vote again.

  12. Anti-Agony says:

    I hope the city gets its socks sued off with a reverse discrimination lawsuit through the EEOC. The man hasn’t even been to trial yet.

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