Michele Jones was suspended with pay Monday afternoon by the mayor for multiple allegations of misconduct, a few hours later the mayor was convinced to rescind the suspension at the council's persuasion.
The council spoke in her defense Monday, according to Councilman Louise Howell, after Mayor Jones made the call for her suspension citing several reasons to which the council demanded more evidence.
"It was the council's decision so that we wouldn't have to shut down the city," Howell said. "Until he has enough proof to show me more, I'm satisfied with her working there."
Although the council was not given adequate evidence showing proof of the allegations brought forth by Mayor Jones, he continues to stand in opposition of the city clerk, saying now that her employment is deemed probationary as he judges her performance.
"I did allow her to come back to work on a probationary status, and she will have to follow the city charter, she will have to adhere to all the laws of the state of Georgia and our employee handbook," Dexter Jones said. "I'll be watching to make sure she carries out all of her duties in the correct way.
"She has to understand that she's not the mayor and that when I request information from her about the finances of the city, which I will do on an almost daily basis, she's got to turn this information over to me."
Michele Jones has continued to deny any involvement in the acts accused by the mayor even presenting supporting documents against the allegations listed for her suspension. Tensions between the mayor and city clerk have been running high since shortly after the mayor took office in January coming to a boiling point at the October regular meeting when Michele Jones addressed the council. Believing that the mayor's attacks have been personal, she shared with the council some of her concerns.
At the same meeting, which occurred shortly after the resignation of former City Treasurer Celeste Keeter, Councilman Chuck Wise commented on his empathy for city employees because of the "hostile area" created by the mayor.
Emphasizing the need for further evidence of alleged misconduct, Howell voiced her satisfaction with Michele Jones' work.
"I don't have a problem with her working there. When he shows me something that is strong enough to remove her then I'll vote for that," Howell said.
Remaining adamant about the list of allegations he cited for enacting a suspension, Mayor Jones reiterated his expectation for improvement from her performance.
"Hopefully she'll be on the right track here in the next couple of weeks because acts like that is just something that I as a mayor I cannot tolerate, and I should not tolerate it," he said.
The Kingston City Council will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at city hall.