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UPDATE: Avery offered opportunity to resign before termination

UPDATE (Nov. 30, 6:45 p.m.): According to the minutes of the Nov. 27 Newton County Recreation Commission board meeting, Anthony Avery turned down the option to resign before he was officially terminated by the board. 

“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. “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. 


COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton County Recreation Commission voted to terminate Recreation Director Anthony Avery during its Monday, Nov. 27 meeting.

NCRC Board Member Josh McKelvey told The Covington News he made the motion to terminate Avery after leaving executive session and Tim Fleming seconded the motion. The board voted 5-0, with Scheree Howard, Fleming, Julius Hays, McKelvey and Steve Rhodes voting to approve the termination. Danny Stone presided as chair.

McKelvey said  Andre Cooper resigned from his position on the board before the executive session and the vote.  Board members Flemmie Pitts and J.C. Henderson were not in attendance.

McKelvey would not provide any other comment on Avery’s termination.

Newton County Public Information Officer Bryan Fazio said he could not comment on the matter.

“Newton County government does not comment on pending personnel matters,” he said.

The News filed an open records request with the county for the minutes of the Nov. 27 meeting, but had not received them as of this publication.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners and NCRC board are holding called meetings tonight in executive session to discuss personnel matters. County Clerk Jackie Smith said there will not be any action taken after the executive session in the BOC meeting.

According to records obtained by The News, Avery’s personnel file has not been updated since July 25, 2014. Avery was originally hired by the county in 1995 as the Adult Athletics Coordinator for the recreation department. He was later promoted to Assistant Recreation Director and then named Director of Recreation in 2013.