Council members criticize inspector general for media release of HR misconduct report

The Atlanta Inspector General's office tells city council members they are being undermined and sometimes ignored by city employees. 

The complaint comes after the inspector general investigated the city's human resources commissioner and concluded that she abused her authority. 

At least two council members were openly upset at the way Inspector General Shannon Manigault has handled the recent investigation involving the Human Resource Commissioner. They say she released the results of her report to the media before giving it to the city council and even the mayor. 

"The office of the inspector general is facing an emergency," Manigault declared. 

Manigault used an unorthodox approach to communicating with city council members recently. 

She used the public comment segment during Monday's Atlanta City Council Meeting to discuss very serious nepotism allegations against Human Resources Commissioner Tarlesha Smith. 

The mayor's office placed the HR Commissioner on administrative leave last week after the IG's office concluded Smith created a job for her daughter and tried to fire her daughter's supervisor when she tried to act against her. 

At least two council members publicly took issue with Manigault's' methods. 

"Why did you use public comment to bring this to council? I wasn't contacted about their being an emergency of any kind," District 11 Councilwoman Marci Collier questioned. 

"As the governing body of the city, I think we should have been given the report before we saw it on Channels 2, Channel 5 and Channel 11," District 10 Councilwoman Andrea Boone declared. 

It turns out council members were not the only ones in the dark. 

The mayor's office was not notified before the report came out either. 

Council member Boone was even more direct. 

"My hope is that we are not being egotistical, and we are playing with people's lives in the media. If you think that people are doing illegal activity. The FBI can handle all of it. The FBI, the GBI...those are official law enforcement agencies," Boone affirmed. 

The councilwoman said at least seven employees say they are being treated like criminals and feel like they need attorneys. 

Mayor Dickens' office released a statement as well: 

"We have assigned the matter to City Law for an independent investigation, and we are awaiting their recommendations for next steps. As the report indicated, there were several employees that were not interviewed, and we want to ensure we have a comprehensive review of the facts. 

"Immediately, we also requested that City Law develop recommendations and an updated Citywide policy related to immediate family members to ensure there is no conflict of interest in the execution of duties." 

The mayor's office also says additional action against more city employees may be forthcoming.