ALBANY, GA (WALB) - In a split 3-4 vote during a special called meeting, the Dougherty County Commission elected not to offer Mike McCoy the permanent position as county administrator.
McCoy has been serving as the county's interim administrator.
Commissioners voting to offer McCoy the post were: Chairman Chris Cohilas, Lamar Hudgins and Ewell Lyle.
The attorney for McCoy, Maurice King, has threatened a lawsuit against the four commissioners who voted against offering him the county's top job. A job many people expected the long-time, award-winning county employee would receive when the former administrator retired.
Those four commissioners who voted against offering McCoy the job were: John Hayes, Clinton Johnson, Gloria Gaines and Anthony Jones.
McCoy was vetted by the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute, who conducted a national search for a new administrator and was the remaining candidate.
"We believe that Mr. McCoy was denied the position as a result of retaliation. And, we believe we have witnesses who will testify under oath that they heard some of the commissioners say they would not give the position to Mr. McCoy because of what happened between him and John Hayes," said Maurice King, McCoy's attorney.
That claim was settled out of court with the county. McCoy received $50,000 in damages.
No criminal charges were formally filed against Hayes.
Below is a statement from Commissioner Hayes as to why he voted the way he did on Monday:
Cohilas, who voted for Hayes, was disappointed by Monday's decision.
"It seems we are playing games right now. It makes no sense whatsoever. It is a bad decision by the commission, it is unfortunate. But, sometimes that is what happens in politics. Sometimes political bodies make bad decisions for bad reasons that don't make any sense," said Cohilas.
King said then that commissioners extended the search for a new administrator in retaliation against McCoy, because of his activities as a whistle blower.