DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - An allegation of battery by a high ranking Dougherty County employee, against a county commissioner during a school field trip, has raised concerns about how the school program is managed and who should be in charge.
"It's been a great opportunity for our youngsters. Some of the kids have had trips that are unbelievable," said DCSS Superintendent Butch Mosley, including a trip to Washington, D.C.
Assistant Dougherty County Administrator Michael McCoy is currently the Program Manager for the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students.
During one student trip to Savannah in April, McCoy filed a police report.
Dated April 30, McCoy said a "heated discussion" occurred between him and County Commissioner John Hayes, a GCAPS supporter staying at another hotel. He told police "he felt assaulted" when Hayes "poked him in the nose."
In a more detailed formal complaint to the County, dated May 4, McCoy said he contacted police because he was "in fear for my safety".
McCoy said Hayes showed up at his hotel in Savannah, Friday, April 29, after 10 p.m., using the "n" word and other profanity, and stating McCoy would be fired.
The documents WALB received in an open records request also showed a later text from Hayes, stating "Mike, I have made much much better decisions and used considerably better judgment than I did tonite...sorry. There are some things I wish I could get you to understand."
According to McCoy's complaint, at least two students were in the hotel hallway with McCoy and Hayes at some point. It is unclear if they witnessed the argument.
"As long as our youngsters aren't subjected to unfair treatment or put in situations where they are uncomfortable, those kind of things concern me," said Mosley.
John Hayes didn't want to comment about the incident, but did tell WALB "In almost 11 years of public service my record and my character have never been called into question."
"We have to be concerned with that (the incident allegations) but, yet, I am one that puts the worth of the program above the individuals that get caught up in the controversy," said Mosley.
It's protecting the value of the program that most concerns Mosley.
"And, so if it is good for the children, I am for it. We can work through the adult end of the deal," said Mosley.
Michael McCoy has not formally pressed charges against Commissioner John Hayes, but his complaint with the county asks for "resolution".
"The rewards of the program far out shine the negative. And, that situation, the commission will have to work through and I am sure the end result will be the right thing. And, we will cooperate and do what we have to do," said Mosley.
County Commissioner Chris Cohilas said he will be dealing with the GCAPS issue on Monday.