Alpharetta ethics board will review complaint against arts commission member

In documents submitted to Alpharetta, an artist states that a commission member used his position to intimidate and threaten her business.

The Alpharetta Board of Ethics will meet Wednesday to formally review a complaint against the vice chairman of the Cultural Arts Commission to decide if there was a possible violation of city’s code of ethics.

The five-member board will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the alleged actions of the subject of the complaint, Gene Andrews. In documents submitted to Alpharetta, artist Jennifer Sutton states that he used his position to intimidate and threaten her business.

If the board decides there was a possible violation of the code of ethics, a hearing will be held on a separate day, Assistant Administrator James Drinkard said.

Neither Andrews nor Sutton is required to attend Wednesday’s meeting, Drinkard said.

Sutton filed her complaint Aug. 19.

Andrews told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday that his disagreement with Sutton was over artwork for a client he represents and was not a city matter.

He has served on the Cultural Arts Commission for about a year and a half.

The Commission advises Alpharetta on purchasing works of art, as well as enrichment programs and performances to implement.

The original business between Sutton and Andrews did not involve Alpharetta, according to documents in the complaint. Earlier this summer, Sutton took artwork created by Andrew’s client to a show she was a part of in New York City. Later, arguments over contractual terms and the return of the artwork took place in text and phone messages and emails, the parties say.

Andrews referred to his position on the Cultural Arts Commission during a heated exchange with Sutton, a copy of a text message shows.

Andrews said he’s lived in Alpharetta for 20 years. He said that he referred to himself as a “city commissioner” to show that he’s familiar with art as well as the law.