Don Hoyt’s investigation began after Anniston resident Ronald Heining made some allegations to Hoyt on July 12 against Public Works Director Bob Dean and five other employees to the city manager. The 12 allegations of personal use of city property and theft included an accusation that employees stole two trailers from Public Works on June 15.
A week later, the allegations were reiterated by Anniston City Councilman Ben Little, Hoyt said in a written statement about the investigation.
The trailer theft was already being investigated by the Anniston Police Department.
“I have determined, in my analysis, that the allegations are unfounded,” Hoyt wrote. “One cannot help but feel that somebody (or group of somebodies) has gone to great lengths to set back the progress we have made in the Public Works Department and to discredit honest and hardworking city employees.”
The issue had some fallout, though. On July 27, Little was arrested for allegedly ordering an employee to give him a surveillance video he thought might prove some of the allegations. It is a violation of Anniston’s form of government for a councilman to directly give orders to a city employee; the city manager, the law states, is the supervisor of city staff.
The witnesses listed on the warrant are, in addition to Dean, James Fluker, an employee in the department, and Darryl Abernathy, street superintendent for Anniston.
On Aug. 24, Heining, 53, and his son Tyler, 25, were charged with allegedly trying to intimidate and bribe Fluker into promising not to testify against Little. The Heinings’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24. Attempts Wednesday to reach Heining were unsuccessful.
Star staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.