Clayton County CFO apparently fired after contract renewal rejected

The Clayton County Commission, in a 3-2 vote, decided Tuesday to terminate CFO Ramona Thurman Bivins.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Clayton County Commission, in a 3-2 vote, decided Tuesday to terminate CFO Ramona Thurman Bivins.

Clayton County Chief Financial Officer Romana Thurman Bivins was apparently fired on Tuesday, with the commission members calling for her dismissal offering no reasons for the move.

In a 3-2 vote, Bivens, who had been Clayton’s CFO for nine years, was terminated by the Clayton Commission and ordered to have her belongings removed from her office by Thursday.

When Commissioner Demont Davis, who voted against termination, asked why Bivins was being fired, the councilmembers who favored her dismissal — Felicia Franklin, Alieka Anderson and Gail Hambrick — did not respond.

“Of course, I did not see this coming, especially having worked with Ms. Bivins on a regular basis,” Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, who voted against the termination, said during the meeting. “(She was) doing an excellent job for this county in the finance department. I really think that is unfair to her.

“My two cents, it’s uncalled for,” he said.

The discussion began Tuesday as a call to renew Bivins’ contract with the county for three years. But Commissioner Anderson interjected, asking to call a vote for the CFO’s dismissal. Turner told Anderson her request would be addressed after the vote on the contract extension, which the majority of commissioners then rejected. Soon after, the vote was called to dismiss Bivins.

Bivins, a former director of budgeting and director of business services for Clayton County Public Schools who’d previously worked as an accounting manager for the state of Georgia, was up for a three-year renewal of her contract at the board meeting.

She was on the agenda to talk about amending the 2023 fiscal budget, but did not attend the meeting. The budget discussion was led by deputy CFO Dennis Johnson, who commissioners Franklin, Anderson and Gail Hambrick approved as the county’s interim CFO. Davis and Turner voted against the interim position.