Warner Robins Council Fires City Clerk

11:27 PM, Dec 29, 2009   |    comments
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    By a unanimous vote, Warner Robins City Council has fired City Clerk Stan Martin.

   Around 6:10 p.m., the board emerged from a 40-minute closed session and announced their vote.

    This comes after a three-month controversy over a break-in at the office of the late Mayor Donald Walker.

   The city clerk was told Monday that he was suspended without pay and could be fired tonight.

   Before tonight's closed session, his attorney, Bo Sammons, says Martin doesn't know why his job is in jeopardy. He said Martin wants to keep his job -- and needs it.

"It was our impression. That when he was exonerated--and Stan had been told this--he would return back to work,"  says Sammons.


  Martin received a two-sentence letter from the current mayor, John Havrilla, Monday saying that he's suspended immediately.

   Sammons says he doesn't know why his client is still suspended because a grand jury last week said he committed no crime.

    City Attorney Jim Elliott says Havrilla has the power to suspend the clerk and doesn't need to give a reason.

    Havrilla said it was strictly a personnel decision, and had nothing to do with "criminality." The mayor said, after reviewing the facts of the alleged break-in, he felt Martin displayed behavior "unbecoming of a senior official."

"To me, his actions that he took did not demonstrate the requisite judgement that we expect our department heads in the city of Warner Robins to have," says Havrilla.

 After the council's decision, Martin said he was disappointed and felt like he didn't do anything to warrant losing his job.

"I would do the same thing again," says Martin. "I did nothing wrong. No one seems to understand that because no one's given me the opportunity to explain it." 


  Havrilla took office in September after Walker killed himself and he leaves office next Monday.

  Martin and another city employee, Chris Armstrong, admitted looking inside Walker's office after his death, in response to rumors about hidden money or guns. A Houston County grand jury last week said there were no grounds for criminal charges.



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