OS aldermen vote to suspend public works director - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OS aldermen vote to suspend public works director

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

For two weeks, the longtime public works director in Ocean Springs, Andre Kaufman, has been the center of controversy. It all centers on emails Kaufman sent that contained disparaging remarks about one city alderman. Wednesday, Kaufman learned his fate at a special meeting of the board of aldermen.

The board of aldermen and Mayor Connie Moran opened the meeting, and quickly exited into an executive session that lasted nearly three hours. For one of those hours, Kaufman and his attorney Bob Byrd were behind closed doors as well. 

The board came back, and Kaufman found out his punishment from the mayor.

"Three days suspension without pay to end on Friday, this Friday," Moran explained.  "Also, we are asking him to attend anger management counseling, and we'll have a recommendation from that counselor hopefully the beginning of next week on how to proceed with that. And we are placing Mr. Kaufman on six months probation." 

The trouble began when the public works department cleaned out a ditch on school property, after an alderman complained about snakes. An email sent by Kaufman to school officials referred to the unnamed alderman as "chicken little."

After learning his fate, Kaufman was contrite. 

"I apologize if I offended anybody. I assure you that wasn't my intent. I apologize to fellow city employees and I apologize to anyone that I offended," Kaufman said. "I assure you again that nothing I said or did was intended to offend anybody, and I'm sorry for it." 

Kaufman is covered by the city's civil service commission, if he wants to appeal. His attorney talked about that.  

"The city and Mr. Kaufman are doing their best to put all this behind them, so I'll discuss it with Andre and we'll see if there is a next step," Byrd explained.  

Does he expect a possible appeal to the city's civil service commission?   

"We haven't even discussed that. I think it has to be made within ten days under the civil service regulations and frankly, it will not be my recommendation."

Kaufman has been public works director in Ocean Springs since 1998.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.  

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Tropical Storm Watch & Storm Surge Watch issued for MS Gulf Coast

    Tropical Storm Watch & Storm Surge Watch issued for MS Gulf Coast

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:15 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:15:17 GMT

    Alberto is forecast to become a fully tropical storm Saturday and then will move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

    More >>

    Alberto is forecast to become a fully tropical storm Saturday and then will move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

    More >>
  • Sheriff: Woman shot in Jackson County

    Sheriff: Woman shot in Jackson County

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:11 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:11:19 GMT
    A suspect is in custody in connection to a woman being shot in the Big Point community late Friday night.A suspect is in custody in connection to a woman being shot in the Big Point community late Friday night.
    A suspect is in custody in connection to a woman being shot in the Big Point community late Friday night.A suspect is in custody in connection to a woman being shot in the Big Point community late Friday night.

    A shooting late Friday night in Jackson County has left a woman severely injured. 

    More >>

    A shooting late Friday night in Jackson County has left a woman severely injured. 

    More >>
  • Fun things to do this holiday weekend in spite of the rain

    Fun things to do this holiday weekend in spite of the rain

    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:44 AM EDT2018-05-26 11:44:18 GMT
    An arcade is one of many indoor choices for people at Margaritaville (Source: WLOX)An arcade is one of many indoor choices for people at Margaritaville (Source: WLOX)
    An arcade is one of many indoor choices for people at Margaritaville (Source: WLOX)An arcade is one of many indoor choices for people at Margaritaville (Source: WLOX)

    It's a rainy weekend along the Gulf Coast, with South Mississippi expecting to see Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto pass through late Sunday and into Monday. Being stuck inside because of the rain is no way to spend your Memorial Day holiday.

    More >>

    It's a rainy weekend along the Gulf Coast, with South Mississippi expecting to see Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto pass through late Sunday and into Monday. Being stuck inside because of the rain is no way to spend your Memorial Day holiday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly