Commissioner accused of conflict of interest speaks out - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Commissioner accused of conflict of interest speaks out

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Commissioner Grady Smith has co-owned the Smith Brothers Mechanical Contracting business for the past 38 years. In that time, he has admitted to doing sub-contracting work for the city on multiple occasions.

He and his two fellow commissioners, Joe Jackson and Wayne Guilfoyle, are now facing questions about whether or not they violated the city's conflict of interest policy.

"I've never taken a dime that my company hadn't worked for and everything else," said Smith.

Smith says his company has made service calls to buildings such as the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, for problems like the air conditioning being out. He says his best interest is for the citizens of Augusta, and common sense decisions. 

"I'd like to think all of us are down there for the good of Richmond County," said Smith. "And if I'm lower on my bid than anyone else, say $15,000 or $20, mean to tell me Richmond County couldn't use that money to put somewhere else?"

But not all commissioners agree. Commissioner Bill Lockett, who chairs the city's administrative services committee, didn't want to discuss the matter on-camera today, but he said his concerns at last week's meeting stand.

"I like these guys, I've been working with them, I anticipate working with them for another couple years at least," said Lockett. "But don't take this matter lightly, because this could be a very, very serious thing down the road."

And while the answer regarding the ethics behind the three commissioners' business deals remains hazy, Commissioner Smith has a question of his own.

"The question that has not been asked is, 'what is good for the taxpayers?"

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