Houston & Peach

Warner Robins official rules on economic development director’s suspension appeal

What is the difference between probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt?

There is a difference between the evidence needed to make an arrest and the evidence needed for prosecutors to get a conviction. Jimmy Richardson, a solicitor, explains the difference between the two.
Up Next
There is a difference between the evidence needed to make an arrest and the evidence needed for prosecutors to get a conviction. Jimmy Richardson, a solicitor, explains the difference between the two.

A Warner Robins city official under indictment on a felony charge has been reinstated to work until the case is resolved.

On April 5 Mayor Randy Toms suspended Economic Development Director Gary Lee without pay after he was indicted on a charge of lying to a sheriff’s investigator. Lee appealed the decision, and the appeal was heard by Councilman Keith Lauritsen, who is mayor pro-tem.

Lauritsen issued a statement Monday that he was lifting the suspension.

“After careful and prayerful consideration I have come to the decision to reinstate Gary Lee to active service with pay,” Lauritsen said in the release. “I believe it to be in the best interest of the city to allow the district attorney’s case against Mr. Lee to be resolved, and thus postpone any actions by the city until the outcome of this legal matter is determined.”

The charges against Lee stem from an investigation by the Houston County sheriff’s office into allegations of possible criminal misconduct allegedly made by Lee against another city employee in his department. Lee reported the allegations to Toms. Lee is accused of falsely telling a sheriff’s investigator that he did not sign a document regarding the city’s alcohol and controlled substance policy. The investigator concluded that Lee did sign the document.

Lee was indicted March 26 on a felony count of making a false statement to an investigator and two misdemeanor charges of false report of a crime. The false report charges allege that he falsely claimed his signature had been forged on a notarized document.

One of Lee’s attorney’s told The Telegraph last week that the indictment was the result of a misunderstanding and there was no criminal intent on Lee’s part. The attorney said he plans to seek dismissal of the charges.

Telegraph archives were used in this report.

  Comments