UPDATE: Hinesville Mayor and Council released a statement addressing the allegations surrounding the city manager at a special called meeting Oct. 22. Mayor Allen Brown addressed those in attendance, including Howard.
“Mr. Howard’s long and exemplary record of service to the
City of Hinesville has earned him the trust and confidence of the Mayor and
Council. The misdemeanor warrants recently issued against several prominent
supporters of Fort State Valley University including Mr. Howard do not diminish
this title. As noted by the district attorney, responsible for this case, these
warrants are mere allegations. Mr. Howard denies any wrong doing, is presumed
innocent, unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Importantly, such
misdemeanor allegations do not involve misconduct and are unrelated to Mr.
Howard’s job performance. For this reason, Mayor and Council intend that Mr.
Howard continue as City Manager pending final disposition of this case, so long
as the affairs of the city are not adversely affected. The Mayor and Council
are persuaded that this decision is in the best interest of the city, the Mayor
and Council promise to continue to work with Mr. Howard to improve the lives of
Hinesville residents and trust that the judicial system will resolve this matter
without significant delay."
Howard is one of seven people charged in a Fort Valley State University sex scandal following a month long investigation by the GBI, according to various news reports. The alleged misconduct is reported to have occurred in 2017 and 2018. See previous related article: Arrest warrant issued for City Manager.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in question with involvement with the Fort Valley State University sex scandal has been reactivated by the AKA’s regional office. On Oct. 12, the Alpha Beta Chapter of AKA sorority Inc., was returned to active status after an investigation was “not able to substantiate allegations of unauthorized activities or misconduct” by the chapter.
“We aggressively addressed the allegations and have continued to move forward,” said Cedric Mobley, the Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Marketing and Communications.
The Courier reached out to Howard and he declined to comment on whether he’s turned himself in to the Peach County Sheriff’s Department.
The Courier reached out to former District 5 council member Kenneth Shaw, and he confirmed that his recent resignation was not connected to allegations made against the City Manager.