Another member of Mayor Teresa Tomlinson's staff is facing trouble this week, this time with the law.
Muscogee County Jail officials said Lacey Morrison, one of Tomlinson's assistants, was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI Alcohol Less Safe) and Failure to Maintain Lane at 1:50 a.m. Saturday morning, May 10.
Morrison bonded out of Muscogee County Jail the same morning at 7:40 a.m.
This incident comes just days after Tomlinson suspended another assistant, Judy Tucker, for an intended prank involving a campaign sign from opposing mayoral candidate Colin Martin.
However, Tomlinson explained to News Leader 9 that Morrison will not face suspension at this time, because her level of employment is not the same, and not as high as that of Tucker, who is a political appointee.
"Morrison is a lower level merit system employee, and we have a very rigorous system and protocol we follow whenever something like a DUI happens on personal time," Tomlinson explained.
Tomlinson explains the court system will first proceed to see if the charges are upheld or dismissed. After the court's decision, the Mayor will determine if there is any disciplinary action to be taken.
"It's so unfortunate. We had almost four years of the greatest staff. They are so competent and professional, and I received compliments about their level of professionalism. So having these incidents happen in less than a week before the Election Day was something unexpected," Mayor Tomlinson told News Leader 9.
Morrison agreed to take two days of paid leave, and will return to work on Wednesday, May 14.
"It couldn't have come at a worst time, and it reflects poorly on the Mayor's office," Tomlinson said. "That is why Tucker and Morrison are so upset about it as well. But a leader knows that she has to keep her hands on the wheel, even through the choppy water. So that is what we are going to do. The voters of Columbus are very sophisticated. They know that there are only two names on the ballot, and I'm one of those names. They will be voting for that leader, not the employee of the city government or employees of the mayor's office. You just have to muscle through this, and people will see that it's the same consistent type of leadership that I provided when we had other issues in the past. How you handle crisis is important. How you deal with fairness and process are also important."
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