Former Fayette employee tossed from meeting for ‘name calling’


A recently fired Fayette County employee was thrown out of the county commission meeting Thursday night by commission Chairman Steve Brown after he was warned several times to avoid “name calling.”

Brown tossed former Assistant Finance Director Emory McHugh immediately after McHugh was speaking about County Administrator Steve Rapson and, referencing an entomological reference he made earlier about the name “Steve” said the following: “Remember, Steve is synonymous with deceitful.”

Earlier in his speech, McHugh referred to Rapson as “Mr. Smoke and Mirrors,” which McHugh claimed was Rapson’s nickname when he served years ago on the finance staff in Peachtree City.

McHugh got his first warning from Brown to avoid name calling at the outset of his remarks during the public comment portion of the meeting in which he called Rapson “an idiot.”

McHugh was speaking during the public hearing on the upcoming county budget, noting that he was a certified public account and a certified internal auditor, was the county finance director from 1993-2000 and was the assistant chief financial officer from August 2012 until several weeks ago. McHugh claimed he was terminated because the chief finance officer told him he was having problems “distinguishing my role as a taxpayer and working for the board of commissioners.”

“She was absolutely right,” McHugh said, noting that he considered it his job to look out for the citizens “because I happened to be one of them.”

When McHugh first called Rapson an idiot, Brown warned him that if the name-calling continued “I’ll tell you to hit the road.”

Immediately before he was booted, McHugh was claiming that Rapson balanced the upcoming 2013-2014 county budget in part by reducing retirement benefits for employees.

But when he made the reference to the name “Steve” meaning deceitful, Brown interrupted him again.

“Mr. McHugh, I’m going to ask to have you removed,” Brown said. “We’ve asked you several times Mr. McHugh, we don’t need the name calling.”

As a Fayette County Marshal stood next to him at the podium, McHugh asked Brown for another chance, but Brown declined.

“No sir, you were warned on three separate occasions. You may go,” Brown said.

With that, McHugh was escorted from the building by the Marshal as Brown reminded the crowd that he had asked there be no cursing, no name calling “and no throwing anything.”