GBI, DFACS to investigate embezzlement, child abuse claims against Commissioner Sammie Sias

GBI, DFACS to investigate embezzlement, child abuse claims against Commissioner Sammie Sias

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Multiple agencies have been tapped to investigate allegations made about Augusta-Richmond County Commissioner Sammie Sias. The Department of Family and Children Services will investigate claims that the commissioner abused young summer campers at Jamestown Community Center. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will look into claims he stole thousands of dollars from rentals and a summer camp program at the community center and thousands of SPLOST dollars from the Sandridge Community Association (SCA), which oversees the community center

These allegations arose after former Jamestown Community Center employee Willa Hilton emailed commissioners concerns she’d had about Sias’ behavior during her 12-year tenure. Hilton, sent the information after she was terminated from her position Monday, July 22, 2019. Sias admitted to a 20-year affair with Hilton Friday in a news conference held outside the Municipal Building. The commissioner denies the allegations and claims Hilton only brought forward the allegations because he terminated their relationship last year.

Additionally, Hilton claimed Sias watched pornography, kept alcohol and a loaded gun on him while at the center. In her letter, she also said, “Sias said he made a deal with Mr. James that sold a piece of property to the city. This property surrounds Jamestown Community Center.”

In a legal meeting Tuesday, commissioners decided to take action on four motions:

• DFACS will be contacted to investigate alleged child abuse at Jamestown Community Center

• GBI will be contacted to investigate alleged use/misuse of SPLOST funds

• Commissioner Sammie Sias is removed from his role as ex-officio member from the Augusta Commission to the Aviation Authority and Willa Hilton is removed from her role as a chairwoman on the Augusta Aviation Authority, effective immediately

• Commissioner Sias is removed from operation, management and maintenance of the Jamestown Community Center while the investigation is being conducted, until full resolution is brought to this matter

< >

Commissioners made this decision during a legal meeting held prior to the regularly scheduled 2 p.m. committee meeting. Mayor Hardie Davis said this allows them to “provide for the health, welfare and safety of all of our citizens, which is tantamount to our role as elected officials.”

FOX 54 will continue following this story for you and will provide additional details as they emerge.

Copyright 2019 WFXG. All rights reserved.