Macon Transit worker who complained about gun brought to office is fired

mstucka@macon.comApril 2, 2013 

A Macon woman says she was fired from the Macon Transit Authority Tuesday because of her reaction to a supervisor’s bringing a shotgun into the office.

TiaWanda Hampton said the man who brought in the gun is the one who should have been fired.

The authority board’s executive committee is slated to discuss the incidents Thursday.

Hampton says she was told she was fired Tuesday by General Manager Rick Jones because she refused to answer questions about why she’d called the board’s chairman, Craig Ross, instead of calling Jones.

Hampton said she saw a supervisor with the shotgun in the office this past Thursday and was worried because of shootings such as those at a Connecticut elementary school and a Colorado movie theater.

Hampton said she talked to a nearby Macon police officer about the weapon, and the officer called Jones.

Jones confirmed that an employee brought a firearm to the office and showed it around.

“It’s one of those personnel issues that we can’t discuss in detail other than to say we had an employee that made an error in judgment, that was showing something to friends that he shouldn’t have been showing, and somebody walked by and became disturbed,” Jones said.

Jones said he couldn’t identify the man, but he said the man has already been disciplined. Guns are prohibited under a Macon Transit policy that carries penalties ranging from suspension to termination.

Ross said Tuesday he couldn’t discuss the matter because it involves personnel and the board is still collecting facts.

“We are looking into it now, and it seems an employee brought a gun to show somebody in the office. It was unloaded,” Ross said. “It’s just been blown out of proportion actually. It was not supposed to be in the building, and we’re trying to get all the facts together right now.”

Hampton said the supervisor should be fired and that she should be brought back to work. She said she was so upset at seeing the gun -- and not knowing why it was there -- she started to cry and thought about other mass shootings.

“This is my life,” she said. “I have kids. Anything can take place. I don’t know if there’s any bullets in it. I don’t know.”

Hampton, who was Jones’ administrative assistant, said Jones said he was terminating her for insubordination because she refused to talk about why she called a board member over the incident.

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