City Manager Butch Sanders testified Tuesday that emotions ran high the day Kautz appointed Phyllis Richardson as the new city clerk, unbeknownst to the city council or the women who held that position, Melissa Arnold.
He says he and the council members were in the administrative offices on the second floor when Kautz brought Richardson and several others upstairs to show her around and introduce her to Arnold.
“When I saw her (Arnold) exit the building after this group had come in to her office, it did affect me in a very negative way,” says Sanders.
He says that night he made the decision revoke Kautz’s access to the administrative offices of city hall saying, at first, it was a security issue.
“The action that I took definitely was… the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he says. “That visit through Melissa’s office with the crowd I thought was really unnecessary.”
Richardson was never able to fulfill her new position because the city council wouldn’t recognize the appointment. Arnold, who is also named in the lawsuit along with Sanders and city council members, resigned her position last week over the stress of the trial.
She is expected to be called to the stand when trial resumes on Friday.
Meanwhile, Sanders was also questioned about his college education and admitted that he’s recently learned he doesn’t actually have a master’s degree from the University of Georgia in public administration as he stated on his application for city manager. He says while he completed the course work in the 1980’s, he was surprised to learn he was never issued a degree.
Clark also questioned why he put on his application that he held an undergraduate degree in both political science and economics, when he only has an undergraduate degree in political science. Sanders says he sat in on some economics classes, but didn’t receive credit.
Clark also brought to light that Sander’s application for city manager in Dalton, which he held for 20 years, stated he attended the University of Southern California and played football. Sanders admitted on the stand it was not true and never admitted it until years later.
“It’s not something that I’ve ever worn on my sleeve, it was just a wrong mistake on my part to let that go on,” he says.
Kautz testified last week that she had no plans in December to nominate Sanders for another term as city manager when some of the discrepancies came to light. The city council issued him a three-year extension of his contract anyway and a nearly $30,000 raise.