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Clay Jones speaks out about being voted out as Sumter County BOC Chairman

AMERICUS – On Monday evening, December 28, 2020, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) held a virtual called meeting at which Board Chairman Clay Jones, who was not in attendance, was unanimously voted out as Board Chairman by the BOC. Commissioner Scott Roberson made a motion to remove Jones from his Board Chairmanship position and Commissioner Thomas Jordan seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the motion to remove Jones from his position as BOC Board Chairman passed unanimously.

According to the minutes of that called meeting, Jones was voted out of his Chairmanship position due to an alleged violation of Title VII, a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color religion, sex or national origin.

At this same called meeting, Commissioner Roberson nominated Commissioner Mark Waddell to serve as the BOC Board Chairman until the BOC meets for a reorganizational meeting sometime this month at which a new BOC Board Chairman might be chosen. The BOC voted unanimously to approve Commissioner Roberson’s nomination and Commissioner Waddell was unanimously voted in as the Acting Board Chairman until this reorganizational meeting takes place.

Though he is no longer Board Chairman, Jones will remain a member of the Sumter County BOC.

In addition to voting out Jones as Board Chairman and voting in Waddell as the Acting Board Chairman, the BOC also voted unanimously to require Jones to attend a 16-hour human resource training course and that Jones turn in a certificate of completion of this course to the BOC during the 2021 calendar year. A motion to mandate that Jones take this course was made by Commissioner Roberson and seconded by Commissioner Jordan. The BOC voted and the motion passed unanimously.

In a January 2 statement to the Americus Times-Recorder, Jones stated that during a confidential meeting, he had made a comment that was “deemed as inappropriate for the transaction of the business at hand.” He went on to say that a meeting was called without his knowledge as Chairman of the BOC by an outgoing Commissioner with less than four days left to serve his term.

“I humbly respect the decision of the Board and will continue to faithfully serve the people of Sumter County in my elected capacity as a County Commissioner,” Jones said in his statement. “Recognizing that as an elected official, I am accountable to the citizens who elected me to office and will continue to operate with the highest personal accountability. For those who know me for my honesty and integrity, I will continue to operate with these important character traits,” Jones continued.

He concluded his statement by saying that he is looking forward to working alongside the new County Commissioners in 2021 for the continued growth of Sumter County.