Columbus Council voted unanimously to overturn a decision by the city’s Personnel Review Board that restored a controversial Muscogee County Prison employee to his job after he was fired by Warden Dwight Hamrick.
Following a state Department of Corrections investigation into the prison and revelations of a sexual affair Lt. Little Lynn had with a subordinate prison employees, Hamrick first suspended him on Nov. 15, then fired him three days later.
Lynn appealed to the Personnel Review Board which reinstated him in January. Hamrick immediately suspended Lynn again, this time with pay, pending the outcome of today’s hearing.
Council’s decision is the final administrative word on the matter, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said. But a lawsuit is always a possibility.
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The city appealing a review board decision is very rare, observers have said. Councilor Red McDaniel, the longest-serving member of council, said he cannot remember a mayor challenging the board.
Tomlinson said the extraordinary nature of the situation called for extraordinary measures.
“An inappropriate relationship in prison is different from an inappropriate relationship in another department, such as public services or the finance department,” she said. “A prison is a tinder box, frankly. We’ll have plenty of testimony as to why it is against the rules at the state and county levels to not have those types of relationships.”
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