Brookhaven, GA, June 15, 2015 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven District 2 Councilman John Park has provided the following statement concerning two emails he sent to Brookhaven Officials.
In the emails, Park outlines his concerns regarding allegations of sexual harassment and the way City Officials were handling the disclosure of the related public records.
From Councilman Park: In the interest of open and transparent government, I would like to share with you what I know about the recent events in Brookhaven concerning Marie Garrett and J Max Davis. On May 15, I met with the city attorney several days after the AJC reported that J Max Davis had been accused of Sexual Harassment. The city attorney showed me (but did not allow me to keep) an e-mail from the city manager to the HR director that has now been released by the city attorney. He also relayed that his investigation concerning sexual harassment was concluded and that he had found no evidence of harassment.
After the May 15th meeting, I sent the first e-mail attached because I believed that the city of Brookhaven was not in compliance with the Open Records act and possible criminal law. I asserted that my name should not have been redacted because as an elected official, I have no right to privacy and I have nothing to hide. The city attorney responded that his opinion remained, but that council, as always, has a right to overrule him. I received no response from any of the other members of council.
After reviewing the AJC’s response to city’s lack of disclosure, on June 6, I sent the second e-mail attached directly to the members of council. As shown by the June 6 email, I urged the other members of council to request that the city comply with the open records request.
Immediately upon knowing the existence of the requested documents on May 15, I have been advocating within council to be completely transparent and release all documents requested by the media. I am heartened that the city has released the documents per the requirements of the Open Records act, but believe this stain on Brookhaven could have been avoided.
In regards to the previously unreleased email, its contents disclose, among others things, that the city manager briefed me on the events mentioned. All references to me in the document are accurate. I did meet with her on March 6, 2015, and left it at her discretion on how to proceed.
Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions or concerns.
City council District 2
Brookhaven City Hall
4362 Peachtree Road
Brookhaven, GA. 30319
Included in the Open Records we received on Friday, we located Parks emails as well as emails from the AJC asking for the City to clarify their position on the public records disclosure.
Earlier Monday, the Brookhaven Post and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published reports after they received public records that expose the Brookhaven City Government’s choice to alter and resist disclosure of public records. Those reports can be found here on The Post and here at AJC.com.