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[UPDATE] Washington County Road Scandal

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

[UPDATE] (9-24 8:14AM) --

Road Supervisor Robert Harcus had been on paid administrative leave for two weeks while an extensive investigation was taking place. Part of the investigation revealed Harcus allowing one employee to take direct orders from County Commissioner Charles Brock.

Brock defended Harcus and his actions against other county officials at a very tense commission meeting today.

"No, I'm not violating no law! Y'all violating the law!" Brock said in the heated meeting.

The Washington County Commission meeting on September 23 resulted in a dispute between District 3 Commissioner Charles Brok and other county leaders.

"I want the people to know that I'm going to continue to be a County Commissioner, I ain't going to be a District Commissioner, I wasn't elected by the people in a district." Brock said.

Brock challenged the county's decision to suspend West Side Road Supervisor Robert Harcus for four days without pay for allegedly misusing funds and materials.

"He's been accused of stuff that's been standard policy in this county for years, Robert Harcus has done no more than what's in this book right here, operational county policy." Brock said.

"Are you accusing me sitting here today of changing that manual?" County Manager Emory Pitts said.

"No." Brock replied.

In his report, County Manager Emory Pitts cites several roads, driveways and two churches where Harcus allowed county work to be done for private interests.

Employee time sheets also confirm Harcus allowing an employee to take direct orders from Brock.

"I stand by what was written up, I stand by that policy book, I'm not perfect, I'm sure I've made mistakes but I stand by what I've done." Pitts said.

Another allegation was Brock using Harcus repeatedly for transportation while county commissioners receive $750 monthly for gas expenses.

"There's no law, I can ride with any supervisor. I didn't say ride all the time, you trying to stir up something here, I know exactly, right here, right here is your problem." Brock said.

The meeting ended without any resolution.

"No sir, I've had enough, that's it....Mr. Brock, we're going to adjourn this meeting, I'm going to exercise my right, I've got a motion to adjourn, I've a second, meeting adjourned!" Washington Co Chairman Eddy Holman said.

The commission will meet again next Tuesday at 5PM.

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(Eyewitness News) -

A Washington Count Road Supervisor has been suspended for four days without pay, following an extensive investigation into misuse of county funds and road materials.

Robert Harcus had been on paid administrative leave for the last two weeks during the investigation.

Harcus has allegedly paved several private driveways and even churches for a county commissioner with county permission.

A private driveway on Bunyon Road in Washington County is one of many areas where Harcus allegedly approved the misuse of county materials.

"Tax dollars are used to maintain county-owned property, county roads. What we discovered was there was fill being put on private property, church property, milled asphalt being put on private driveways," said Washington County Manager Emory Pitts. Pitts also stated that most of the work was done under Harcus' supervision.

Pitts placed him on paid administrative leave earlier this month after he dumped roughly five loads of clay onto a private driveway.

"We do have a policy to maintain private roads or private driveways at a cost of $75 an hour that the resident would pay and roads like this that are single driveways should never have been maintained free of charge," Pitts added.

Employee worksheets show one driveway was listed as "Chicken House Road," but Pitts says there is no record of such a road.

"Chicken House Road, Mr. Harcus maintains we have grated for years. It should not have been a county maintained road. I don't know why it would have ever been maintained."

On September 15, Pitts suspended Harcus for another week without pay after completing the investigation. The three page report cites several roads, driveways, and even two churches where county materials and labor were misused for private interests.

"The policy that the Commission set forbids it."

It also alleges Harcus told employees to "alter, omit, or cite incorrect locations" regarding what areas they worked.

The worksheets even detail Harcus allowing one employee to take orders directly from County Commissioner Charles Brock.

Commissioner Brock did not return our calls.

Harcus denied our request for an interview on the advice of his attorney.

Pitts says he wants to send out a clear message.

"We're trying to take care of their tax dollars and spend their tax dollars where they're intended to be spent. I want employees to know it is violation of county policy and quite often state statute to go on private property to do work with county tax dollars."


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