Council considering Thompson report

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

The investigation of Stockbridge Mayor Tim Thompson is over - or not, depending on whom you ask.

Thompson released a written statement Aug. 18 saying the probe “has been completed after five months.” A separate statement issued Aug. 21 by the City Council said it “has not yet been concluded or terminated.”

The City Council voted March 18 to censure Thompson and to authorize an outside investigation to determine whether the mayor had violated the city charter since taking office. The action came after a March 5 meeting which drew the attention of several Atlanta media outlets, with video from City Hall of an unidentified screaming man leading to Mayor Pro Tem Alphonso Thomas filing a police complaint alleging Thompson threatened council members. A subsequent Henry County Police Department investigation resulted in no charges being filed.

Thompson made no comment when the council passed a resolution “reprimanding the mayor,” stating that he “engaged in behavior that was wholly unacceptable and inexcusable” that “brought great discredit and shame” to the city. The resolution formally censured and reprimanded Thompson and requested that he undergo anger management counseling, showing within 30 days that he is taking steps in that direction.

Thompson’s statement last week, which was not critical of the City Council, called the investigation “unlimited in scope, time and cost.” He said the investigator’s report was completed Aug. 13.

“In the 129-page exhaustive report, no such violations were found,” Thompson stated. “I know of no other elected official or any government employee who has ever been subjected to this type of inquiry and found to have not committed any of the accusations.”

While saying that the report “identifies certain areas of concern, such as record management and conflicts between the City's Code and Charter,” Thompson stressed that he is “passionate about good government” and “will ask the appropriate city officers and employees to address those areas of concern immediately.”

Thompson posted the letter to his campaign’s Facebook page and later commented there that the report would be available for public inspection 10 days from the date it was completed and delivered to the city.

The Times asked all City Council members for comment and an opportunity to view the report. City Clerk Vanessa Holiday responded “on behalf of the Stockbridge City Council” by email Friday.

She cited Georgia code section 50-18-72, which states that the records in question are not open for public inspection because they are “records consisting of material obtained in investigations related to the suspension, firing, or investigation of complaints against public officers or employees until ten days after the same has been presented to the agency or an officer for action or the investigation is otherwise concluded or terminated.”

“The investigation of the Mayor has not yet been concluded or terminated,” Holiday wrote. “As required by law, the report will be made available 10 days after the conclusion of the investigation.”