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High Ranking Official
Contends Macon-Bibb Hiring Bias

By Beedee Clay
In 1976, then policeman Charles Dudley was the named plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit about racial discrimination in the Macon police department. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 1981 for $500,000 with a consent decree that monitored the government's hiring practices to insure a reasonable percentage of minority representation for all jobs in each category of employment. The consent decree was dismissed less than ten years ago.
The consolidated government began operations in 2014 and included in its charter at Section 1-101-(b) the following language: "Macon-Bibb, Georgia shall encourage the meaningful involvement in its operations of all citizens of Macon-Bibb, particularly those who are members of minority or other traditionally disadvantaged groups, as appointees, employees, and independent contractors." This language underscored that no consent decree was necessary.
However, a January 25, 2018 letter (just four years into the operations of the consolidated government) from Attorney Maurice Luther King, Jr. insinuates that the Assistant County Manager, Charles L. Coney, was discriminated against in the hiring of the County Manager because he was not white. Coney, who is black, is the current Assistant County Manager. The letter puts the county on notice that a law suit could be filed if they don't compromise and resolve this issue.
The letter points out that only white men have been Chief Operating Officer (COO) since the consolidated government began and that the Charter specifically states that the Assistant County Manager will serve as County Manager for a short term in the event that the COO position becomes vacant for any number of reasons. Coney was not made acting COO, in fact, the letter states that he was made co-interim along with another white employee, and finally the City Attorney, Judd T. Drake (who is also white), was appointed solely Interim County Manager.
Attorney King states that two other white men were offered the position and turned it down. Coney is qualified for the county manager's position and has an unblemished and excellent work history with Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, the letter asserts. He further states that according to the job description for assistant county manager, Charles Coney should have been appointed to the position.
Claiming race discrimination and violations of Coney's rights under both the U.S. and Georgia Constitution, the letter served notice of possible legal action. A lawsuit, if filed, will request equitable relief including placing Coney in the position of County Manager/COO, the letter warns. King is asking for $2,500,000.00 in this claim with the possibility of negotiation of terms.  Coney served as Assistant County Manager under former County Manager Dale Walker, who resigned during questionable pension decisions.


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P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265


Charles L. Coney