Lacey Morrison, an administrative assistant in Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s office, is facing a driving under the influence charge just three days after the mayor’s executive assistant was directed to take two days leave for asking for her opponent’s campaign sign.
Morrison, who helps in the day-to-day operations at the mayor’s office, also is charged with failure to maintain her lane. Authorities said she was released early Saturday morning from the Muscogee County Jail. Officials said Morrison was stopped by the Georgia State Patrol on Moon Road at 2 a.m.
The mayor said she spoke with Morrison and has recommended that she take two days off before returning to work, just as she suggested for her executive assistant.
“It doesn’t do them any good to come to the office and have their minds on other things,” the mayor said. “I think it’s wise.”
Tomlinson on Saturday said she recommended that Judy Tucker, her executive assistant, take two days off for what she says started out as a practical joke involving a campaign sign for mayoral candidate Colin Martin. The mayor’s action was not a suspension.
On Thursday, Tomlinson answered in the affirmative when asked if she had suspended Tucker, and when asked if the suspension was with or without pay, the mayor said she hadn’t decided.
According to Tomlinson, Tucker, who has worked for the mayor for her entire term, had taken some time to run a personal errand Wednesday during which she “got a wild hair” and asked for one of Martin’s campaign signs. Tucker said she was new to town and wanted the sign for her yard.
Tomlinson summed up the two incidents as unfortunate for two really good people.
“I think it’s just been incredibly unfortunate circumstances by really good people,” the mayor said. “It’s something we are going to have to push through and deal with. We all are very close.”
Tomlinson said Morrison is a lower level merit system employee and as such there may or may not be any actions taken by the city against her. Tucker, though, is a political appointee and not under the merit system.
The mayor said typically there usually is no employment ramifications for a merit system employee who does not drive a city vehicle.
“She will have to go through her own justice system whether the charges go through or don’t go through,” Tomlinson said. “If there is a finding, there may or may not be any action taken at work.”
Staff Writer Mike Owen contributed to this report.