Residents of Barwick, Georgia say controversy is tearing their small city apart. Two city employees say they have been fired for doing what they feel was right, and now they say citizens and city officials stand divided.
Jim Anello says three weeks ago he saw his police chief tell a Barwick resident to shoot several dogs and then let the man take all the blame. Jim says he spoke up for the truth and at a town meeting Friday night was fired from the Barwick police force.
"My termination was for violation of the chain of command, which, we're a two-man department, so it's a little difficult to violate your chain of command!" Jim says.
Anello says his termination, and the termination of another city employee he says was a witness to threats being made to Anello by a City Council member's husband, are just the latest in a string of what he and other Barwick citizens call "crooked operations" by City Council members.
When we tried to contact members of the City Council, they either didn't return our phone calls or declined to comment, but other members of the community who were at Friday's meeting had plenty to say.
Carolyn Akery lives near the home of where the dogs were shot.
"If anybody should have been fired, it should have been the chief, because he's going to tell people to kill a dog. That's just like telling someone to kill one of us!" says Carolyn.
Anello says the resident who was told to shoot the dogs was arrested along with the council member's husband who threatened Anello, but he says unless other agencies step in, the problems could only get worse.
Jim Anello has retained an attorney. He says he doesn't want his job back, he only wants justice. He hopes to see the Georgia Bureau of Investigation get involved.