East Point city officials moved swiftly Wednesday night to begin repairing the town’s fractured government.
City council fired city manager Reggie Taylor after deliberating an hour in executive session during a special-called meeting. City attorney Corliss Lawson was appointed interim city manager. A visibly shaken Taylor, who had been in the position for only eight months, immediately left the meeting after the council announced it was “terminating his contract.”
The council also voted to seek outside help in filling the human resources and finance director positions, jobs currently vacant but duties of which were being performed by others within the city government.
Wednesday’s action comes a month after a council-initiated audit revealed a series of financial problems within the south Fulton County town, including $200 million in unaccounted-for spending during the past 12 years. The report noted that nearly a third of invoices between January 2000 and December 2012 did not have a purchase order. The report also found several years’ worth of accounting records were either missing or had been destroyed, a violation of state record-keeping laws.
City officials declined to discuss details of Taylor’s forced departure, but Mayor Earnestine Pittman read a prepared statement that said the “decision was not in any way based on the recent audit and findings of the Council-Initiated investigation.”
The decision is just the latest in a string of issues weighing heavily on the council, which recently tabled adopting a new budget.
The city has seen a revolving door of change within the top layers of its administration for nearly a decade. The ongoing lack of continuity in leadership, some observers say, contributes to the chaos East Point now faces.