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Code officer wants apology from councilwoman
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Documents provided Friday by Hinesville following an open records request by the Coastal Courier shed little additional light on the suspension of Billy Edwards, the city’s longtime city manager who returned to work Friday.

But they hold one surprise, at least for those not in the loop regarding day-to-day operations at the city.
City code enforcement officer Rebecca Speir filed a grievance May 9 against Councilwoman Diana Reid for “negligence and defamation: slander and libel,” documents show. She’s asked for a public apology from Reid.

In an email to Mayor Allen Brown, Spier claims Reid “tainted my reputation by making false statements and causing me to appear to be unfit for my job not only to my peers, but to everyone who was in attendance at the (May 4) City Council meeting during the time she publicly made negative comments about how I perform my job, and those who have viewed the video on the City’s website.”

In a May 23 email to Brown, Speir asked for a Georgia Municipal Association lawyer, saying an informal meeting with Reid to work out differences between the two had not taken place. During the May 4 city council meeting, Reid said she agreed with Freedom Court residents who were critical of Spier.

Reid, who said she got cooperation in cleaning up the neighborhood, accompanied Speir on a visit to the neighborhood.
“A lot of the reason Becky didn’t get any full cooperation is how Becky spoke to them,” Reid said. “A few of them attested to the fact Becky came over there threatening them, not talking to them.”

Reid seemed to call Speir’s citations “senseless,” and Speir’s email to Brown said “Ms. Reid has made Code Enforcement appear to be a nuisance and undermines our job to the citizens.”

Like the Courier, Speir filed an open records request for a recording of the June 1 executive session, after which the council voted 3-1 to suspend Edwards for two weeks without pay. Both requests were denied.

More on this story to follow.

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