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Avery hires attorney after termination from NCRC

COVINGTON, Ga. - Former Newton County Recreation Director Anthony Avery has hired Attorney Stephanie Lindsey and filed an ante litem notice with the county after his termination by the Newton County Recreation Commission last month, according to County Attorney Megan Martin.

Ante litem is a Latin term meaning "before litigation." Some governmental entities, such as, counties, police departments, school systems, and municipalities, may require that you send an ante litem notice of an intent to sue them in order to proceed with a lawsuit.

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According to the documentation requested by The Covington News, Lindsey demanded the preservation of evidence related to Avery’s claims for damages.

Anthony Avery Preservation of Evidence Letter

Avery was terminated by a unanimous vote by NCRC Monday, Nov. 27 after being offered the opportunity to resign from his position.

“Chairman (Danny) Stone explained that after meeting with employees, there was a lack of leadership and they do not feel he was truthful, lacked communication as well as other serious issues,” according to the minutes of the board meeting. “Danny stated there is a consensus that we need a different director and he asked Avery if he had anything he would like to say. Anthony shook his head no and sat in silence. 

“Chairman Stone then stated to Director Avery that we would allow him to resign from the director position. Director Avery asked if he could have some time to think this over after the meeting and the chairman denied this. Anthony remained silent.”

According to the minutes, Board Member Josh McKelvey followed this conversation with a motion to terminate Avery and to name an interim director within five business days. That motion was seconded and unanimously approved by the board members in attendance. 

Avery reportedly left the room immediately after the vote. 

At its Dec. 4 called meeting, NCRC voted to name Dwayne Mask interim recreation director.

Stone said Mask will remain in the position for an undetermined amount of time.

“I appreciate y’all giving me the opportunity and having the confidence in me to step in for this period of time,” Mask said at the time of his appointment.

Avery was hired by the county in 1995 as the adult athletics coordinator for NCRC. He was covered under the county's civil service personnel policies.