We talked with Tim Brunson around Friday afternoon about leaving the city.
Brunson says he opted to retire after 31.5 years with the city and signed the required paperwork on Friday morning.
Citing declining health, Brunson, 55, says he felt that was the best option for him. He’s supposed to be off his feet more going forward so he says he’ll stay local and try to find a job that will let him do that.
Brunson says he started as a laborer in the ditches and worked his way up. The job required long hours, he said, including days, nights and weekends.
In leaving he says “I don’t have any ill will toward anybody” adding that this move “is best for my health.”
It likewise gets him more time with his grandkids, he added.
FRIDAY’S FIRST REPORT:
Two city of Rome administrators are unemployed following an internal investigation by the police department.
Both Johnna Allen, most recently the city’s purchasing director, and Tim Brunson, the former assistant director of the water and sewer division, left city employment a week ago today following an investigation by Rome Police. The two had been placed on administrative leave prior to resigning.
In an email to city commissioners last week, City Manager Sammy Rich shared several updates including the following:
“It has been exceptionally difficult this week dealing with personnel issues. You all may recall I had placed two employees on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation. As a result of that investigation, both employees have resigned this morning (Oct. 3).”
Early Tuesday, Hometown Headlines filed an Open Records Request with the city, seeking personnel and related documents regarding both employees and the investigation. Thursday afternoon, City Attorney Andy Davis forwarded some of the information we asked for but said some of the request would have to wait until Rich returns from vacation next week. The city’s personnel director also is at a conference and is due back Monday.
As for Allen and Brunson: We have not been able to find phone numbers or emails for either. We did place notes on their respective Linked In accounts on Wednesday afternoon. What we do know from recent events:
Allen, who was named purchasing director in May 2016, was honored by the city for 10 years of service. She’s pictured to the right with City Manager Sammy Rich receiving her accommodation.
Brunson in mid-August appeared before the City Commission to discuss what it took to repair a sewer line break on Branham Avenue – a project that involved 3,200 hours of labor and more than $100,000 in infrastructure and other equipment and products. It was part of the City Commission’s public “thanks” to the crews that worked to restore Branham Avenue.
Our Open Records Request seeks the following information:
- Personnel files for both former employees.
- Termination agreements, memos, files or related data regarding their separation from city employment effective Oct. 5, 2019 (or related dates).
- Electronic or other communications between city administration and the Rome Police Department concerning an investigation or investigative matter involving Allen and Brunson, including outcomes.
- Electronic or other communications between city administration and city commissioners regardling any notice of personnel changes in the past two weeks (tracking back from Oct. 6, 2019).
Below please find part of Davis’ response, which also included a request for additional time because of absent personnel:
What’s next: We will update this story as information becomes available from the city of Rome. We likewise will add comments for Allen and Brunson if we make contact with them or their representatives. The investigation and resignations have taken place roughly a month out from the Nov. 5 municipal election. Five incumbent commissioners are running for new terms and face four challengers. Three seats are open in Ward 1 and Ward 3. The three candidates the receiving most votes in each ward win the seats; there is no runoff. At least one new face will join the commission in January.