Rec director quits over tournament fees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rec director quits over tournament fees

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October 20, 2005

Valdosta-- A popular recreation director has resigned after his employees accused him of mishandling money. Brockey Brock, well-known in the sports field, says even though he's done nothing wrong, he can no longer work for Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation because of what he calls a hostile environment.

After more than 30 years of working with parks and recreation in Albany and Valdosta, Brockey Brock has resigned. "I feel hurt, I hate it for my friends, my family, the public I never would with any intent not have the trust of the public, and I've always had that in my mind."

Some of Brock's employees have leveled accusations that Brock mishandled money the city paid to the Georgia Amateur Softball Association. Brock is state commissioner of the ASA and acknowledges that Valdosta-Lowndes paid ASA bid fees for tournaments that never materialized.

But he says that's something that should have been brought to his attention by the very employees who complained about him. "If that tournament hadn't been made, I would've hoped the staff would've come back and said 'You owe this bid fee back,' and I would've then had to make that decision. But I didn't have that opportunity. That's why I say I didn't have the support of people I counted on to run that department."

The city gave Brock the chance to defend himself in a hearing. "To give him the opportunity to tell his side of the story, and answer any questions that we had as a result of the facts we found during the investigation," said City Manager Larry Hanson.

But Brock says he can no longer work with the people who didn't support him. "With the hostile environment I'm in, I felt I had to resign, and that's what I've done."

Brock took $39,000 out of the Softball Association account and refunded parks and recreation department. The case has been turned over to the District Attorney's office.

Eric Hahn is serving as interim director of the Parks and Rec Department.

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