Need Health Insurance? Date The Mayor Of Cumming

WSB TV reported last week that Mayor Ford Gravitt of Cumming (who you might remember from Attorney General Sam Olens demanding he pay a fine for ejecting a blogger from a city meeting) is under fire for placing his girlfriend, Angela Mullinax, on the city’s health insurance plan in 2005 at the taxpayer’s expense. What makes this interesting is that Angela Mullinax does not work for the City of Cumming, because “mayor’s girlfriend” is not an actual city job. Now an impeachment hearing is scheduled for Councilman Rupert Sexton for releasing the document that exposed Mayor Gravitt.

Councilman Sexton pulled the list of employees on the city’s health insurance policy in November while figuring out how to cut the city’s budget. He discovered Mullinax was on the list and approached the mayor. According to Councilman Sexton, Mayor Gravitt said that if it was an issue, he would remove her.

The cost of Mullinax’s health insurance is $663.10 a month, equaling out to be approximately $75,000 of taxpayer money spent on her health insurance. Mayor Gravitt is pushing Councilman Sexton out for releasing the city’s employee health insurance information. WSB pulled the document from city records which includes the employee’s names and how much money the city and employees pay towards their health insurance. The Georgia Open Records Act makes this information available to the public.

According to the Georgia Municipal Association life and health insurance policy, to be eligible for group life and health coverage, each city employee must be an active, permanent, full-time employee who is employed on at least a 30-hour per week basis, for at least 48 weeks during the year. Mayor Gravitt told WSB, “She’s on there because she does a lot of work for the city of Cumming and, uh I put her on there.”

Mayor Gravitt, please explain what job Angela Mullinax holds in the City of Cumming that requires her to work for 30-hours per week for at least 48 weeks during the year. The impeachment hearing on Councilman Sexton appears to be nothing more than a diversion from the actual problem: Mayor Gravitt using taxpayer money to give his girlfriend health insurance.

Here’s the report from the station’s Jodie Fleischer:

5 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    There had to be complicity by city workers/managers and firing them along with the mayor would serve to nip policy and procedure violations. If not, just do whatever the boss desires. This took years to surface.

  2. SabrinaWorks247 says:

    Saltycracker:

    You said, “There had to be complicity by city workers/managers and firing them along with the mayor would serve to nip policy and procedure violations.”

    Unfortunately, government employees are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Whistleblowers do not fare well in Georgia. At the state level, instead of investigating corruption, our Attorney General defends those who retaliate and fire whistleblowers. Don’t forget what happened to Stacey Kalberman and the other Ethics Commission employees. Attorney General Sam Olens was sanctioned by the judge for withholding evidence in that case and is accused of doing the same in an unrelated lawsuit against the state that is on appeal. Denise Caldon Sorkness, a whistleblower at Macon State College who refused to falsify the college president’s records to allow him to receive higher pension benefits than what he was entitled to receive, was fired. The president retired with the inflated pension benefit. Todd Brandenberg, a medical technician at the Medical College of Georgia, was fired after his supervisor claimed he told a patient he had stinky feet. The patient signed an affidavit that this never happened. Does anyone think it is a coincidence that just before Todd was fired on false charges, he filed a complaint against a member of the Board of Regents for violating the BOR purchasing policy when he got the contract to provide bottled water to the University System of Georgia? I could continue on and on with a list of former employees who were fired and blackballed for speaking out about wrongdoing.

    After reading what happened to other whistleblowers, is it any wonder other state and local employees in Georgia do not want to speak out? Once again, Georgia is proving why it was named dead last in ethics and transparency by the Center for Public Integrity. How many Attorney General’s in the United States have RICO lawsuits filed against them? At least 4 have been filed against Sam Olens and a superior court judge has allowed him to hide behind a claim of sovereign immunity.

    How comfortable do you think potential whistleblowers feel when they learn that Sam Olens, the highest law enforcement officer in the state, is defending current state employees against allegations of criminal acts committed against whistleblowers and other former state employees, including perjury, subornation of perjury, wire fraud, mail fraud, evidence tampering, identity fraud, manufacturing evidence, and knowingly falsifying a college budget with over $9 million unaccounted for to this day? If you were an honest state employee who had documented proof of wrongdoing, would you step right up and start singing about what you had found, knowing what happened to other whistleblowers? Not likely.

  3. saltycracker says:

    Sam Olens, isn’t he the guy that came up with a special early retirement program in Cobb Co. Then took it to run for AG ?

    Anonymous tip lines do well.
    You do paint a bleak picture but we must hold public employees accountable for some responsibility to the people they serve and we have to expect some moral compass.
    To give a free pass for those involved in corruption is how we got to where we are.

    Electing them is amazing and refusing to pass legislation to keep them from serving is depressing. Unpaid taxes, just promise to pay them, bust a bank and you get on the committee, cheat on expenses or get caught at something illegal….We all make mistakes.

    Time to nail the accomplices, and the dominoes will fall.

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