Albany Symphony suspends director -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Symphony suspends director

The full Albany Symphony Association Board met Thursday night to discuss their director Clair Fox Hillard's job status.

Hillard was arrested August 10th and charged with loitering after police found him in Camilla with no clothing and wrapped in a towel. He originally told police he was robbed at gunpoint by two black men. He later recanted and said he met a woman from Thomasville for sex behind the doctor's office and the two were spooked when police arrived.

Hillard didn't contest the loitering charge in court and has since paid a 211 dollar fine. Here's the symphony's statement:

The board of the Albany Symphony Association met at 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 25, 2011 to discuss the future of Conductor, Claire Fox Hillard.  "After carefully considering all aspects of this situation and taking into consideration Dr. Hillard's twenty-four years of dedicated service to the Symphony and to the Albany community, we believe that we have come to an equitable solution."  The board has suspended Dr. Hillard, without salary, through the end of 2011.

Hillard issued an apology to the board, stating, "I acknowledge that my actions have damaged my reputation in the Albany Community, hurt people and an institution that I love and respect.For this I sincerely apologize.  I seek forgiveness and the opportunity to work to rebuild the trust and respect placed in me over the past 24 years."

The symphony will continue their concert season and will employ guest conductors during the suspension.  "During this time of suspension, it will be Dr. Hillard's responsibility to begin rebuilding the trust and respect so badly damaged by his actions."

The Albany Symphony Board would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our supportive community during this time.


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