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Former Fayette employee tossed from meeting for 'name calling'

A recently fired Fayette County employee was thrown out of the county commission meeting Thursday night by commission Chairman Steve Brown after he was warned several times to avoid “name calling.”

Brown tossed former Assistant Finance Director Emory McHugh immediately after McHugh was speaking about County Administrator Steve Rapson and, referencing an entomological reference he made earlier about the name “Steve” said the following: “Remember, Steve is synonymous with deceitful.”

Earlier in his speech, McHugh referred to Rapson as “Mr. Smoke and Mirrors,” which McHugh claimed was Rapson’s nickname when he served years ago on the finance staff in Peachtree City.

McHugh got his first warning from Brown to avoid name calling at the outset of his remarks during the public comment portion of the meeting in which he called Rapson “an idiot.”

McHugh was speaking during the public hearing on the upcoming county budget, noting that he was a certified public account and a certified internal auditor, was the county finance director from 1993-2000 and was the assistant chief financial officer from August 2012 until several weeks ago. McHugh claimed he was terminated because the chief finance officer told him he was having problems “distinguishing my role as a taxpayer and working for the board of commissioners.”

“She was absolutely right,” McHugh said, noting that he considered it his job to look out for the citizens “because I happened to be one of them.”

When McHugh first called Rapson an idiot, Brown warned him that if the name-calling continued “I’ll tell you to hit the road.”

Immediately before he was booted, McHugh was claiming that Rapson balanced the upcoming 2013-2014 county budget in part by reducing retirement benefits for employees.

But when he made the reference to the name “Steve” meaning deceitful, Brown interrupted him again.

“Mr. McHugh, I’m going to ask to have you removed,” Brown said. “We’ve asked you several times Mr. McHugh, we don’t need the name calling.”

As a Fayette County Marshal stood next to him at the podium, McHugh asked Brown for another chance, but Brown declined.

“No sir, you were warned on three separate occasions. You may go,” Brown said.

With that, McHugh was escorted from the building by the Marshal as Brown reminded the crowd that he had asked there be no cursing, no name calling “and no throwing anything.”



Congratulations Mr. McHugh. About time someone told Brown the dictator off.


When anyone loses a job it sad and unfortunate. Most people put their heart and soul into their work. It's sad to see county employees, teachers and parapros in this situation.

Fayette has to balance their budget which the taxpayers are demanding.
I applaud the commission for holding their promise to keep their meetings open as unpleasant as it might be at times.

Besides Hearn or Horgan, but this was not worthwhile and I don't blame him one bit for having him escorted out.

It had already been noted a few weeks ago that they had to cut retirement benefits to help the budget. Note that I didn't say balanced budget because they haven't done so knowing we need water and stormwater repairs. (Splost request). So perhaps Rapson is smoke and mirrors?

Mr. McHugh however let his emotions get in the way of presenting evidence. In my opinion, its sour grapes for being released. Perhaps he could be better served writing a coherent letter to the editor detailing/ documenting his claim. If his résumé is as he presented, I'm sure he can expound on this in writing, without the emotions.

ginga1414's picture

Commission Chairman Steve Brown and our current commissioners have worked diligently to make sure all citizens are able to voice their concerns and opinions during commission meetings.

I have attended 99.9% of all commission meetings during the last five years. That means I have seen up close and personal how three different commissions and commission chairmen have worked.

Our current commission has been by far the most open and tolerant group in the last five years. When they took office and started conducting the commission meetings, it was like a night and day difference. Since January 2013, I have heard audiences expound on the difference and how much they enjoyed attending the meetings under the leadership of Chairman Brown, our new board, and our new staff members.

Last night, Chairman Brown, the other BOC members, the staff, and the audience sat through a 17 minute diatribe by former Commissioner Lee Hearn. Mr. Hearn didn't use foul language, call names, or throw things. Therefore, he had the floor and everyone's attention for 17 minutes.

Had Mr. McHugh conducted himself in the same manner, he would have been able to speak his piece without incident. However, Chairman Brown did warn Mr. McHugh before he spoke and at three different intervals concerning his name calling.

Each time, Mr. McHugh ignored Chairman Brown and continued by raising his voice and speaking over Mr. Brown. Even with all of that, Chairman Brown let it go repeatedly.

I was there. Steve Brown did the right thing!

PTC Observer's picture

Great with numbers, really bad with verbal communication.

Politicians great with words, really bad with other people's money.

Their mind. I guess he was just joking. :)

highflyer2's picture

More popcorn please! All I can say is those yard sale sign picker uppers have sure been busy this past year!

PTC Observer's picture

Indeed Highflyer, it portends a mass migration. What do you believe is the catalyst? Out of control schools where students can’t learn, community crime or just fear of people that don’t look the same?

Whatever it is it’s contagious, as I have seen it before. The outcome is not pretty, a decaying orbit. All very apparent to those not wearing rose colored glasses.

So, my proposal is this, get tough in schools make certain that those that want to learn can learn and don't let the bullies take over. Cast them out.

Secondly, become the toughest county in Georgia on criminals, want-to-be or otherwise. Let's support a SLOST to fund our law enforcement, jail facilities, courts and personnel to stop crime before it starts. Let's send a signal, where's the leadership on this by our County Commission?

As for the idea that people of different complexions can't live together, well that one comes from the heart, not from laws or force.

I agree. I came from Stone Mountain which declined from "the" place to live to a dump in just 5 short years. And I see many frightening similarities between Stn Mtn then and Fayetteville now. Crime is certainly a factor, but it flight really starts with instability in the schools and questionable county leadership, both of which we are seeing now.

Another key factor is trust in law enforcement. And Sheriff Babb isn't doing anyone any favors by kicking in innocent people's doors and then washing his hands of the matter as if nothing wrong happened. That was a SERIOUS breach of trust on the part of the Sheriff's office and the magistrate that signed the warrant. We elect/hire LEO to so our families are safe. And if the citizens EVER feel like it is "Us vs. Them", the citizens will move away leaving a vacuum for rentals, transients, etc.

Ironically, there is presently a discussion about "what happened" on the facebook group for those that lived there during it's hayday, and much of that discussion sounds like it was cut-n-paste from The Citizen articles running presently.

Steve Brown is the white Obama. Everything is the former commissioners fault. Look at his long letters to the editor in which he uses the word I, me, and my over and over again. He cannot stand to be questioned. Remember his tenure as mayor of PTC?

mudcat's picture

Thousands of us remember those times from 2001- to the merciful end when DirectPac and Friends of Tom encouraged and saw 6 opponents to his incumbency (a record for sure) then Logsdon kicking his butt in the runoff. Thousands of us thought his being elected to FCC and later the chair was a very poor joke. Also remember how he supported Barlow, Ognio, Oddo against some more qualified people (shelia huddelston for one) so he could get chairman votes? Phony hypocrite.
                                                                                                            Yes indeed yada, we remember all that and many will vote against him next time when he's vying to be a PTC district rep on county commission. Whether kimmy or vanessa or even erica opposes him, they would have my vote. Heck, i'd go for jack smith or harold logsdon before more of the brown clown. Of course I can't vote against him because of the racists that sued us and he's in another district. I can and did however vote for Eric Maxwell last week and feel good about that.

Maybe they can do a 'tag team' demonstration!

Pot head Robert Horgan keeps picking at Steve Brown and Lee Hearn is no better!

This guy McHugh is disgusting and is such a low life that he has to go to the to front and scream bad names at people. He deserved what he got!

I think it's called "How to make your Momma Proud!"

Whlie this article is three years old, County Adminitrator Rapson and Commissioner Brown are still very much with us. Do you suppose Candidate McHugh would be able to have a satisfactory woking relationship with either if he we elected him to the commissioner-at-large position? This is much the same situation that exists among Brown, Oddo, and Barlow. The latter two did not hesitate to yell at Brown, calling him names, and gaveling him down. Barlow even placed a sign over his county office stating "God is my Chairman." Now they vote in sync against Brown and Ognio on all controversial issues.If McHugh proves here that he can't behave himself as an audience member, I would hate to think what he would do as a commissioner representing all districts in Fayette . And it is hard to swallow McHugh being fired because he stood up for the taxpayers. Do you believe that his pink slip reads that way?

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