Bradley County SPCA Director Bobbi Anderson Terminated And County Commissioner Peak-Jones Resigns From Animal Group

Monday, August 18, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
- photo by Hollie Webb

Bradley County SPCA Director Bobbi Anderson was terminated and County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones resigned from the SPCA Board during a heated Monday night meeting.

Board chair and SPCA President Betti Gravelle made a motion for Ms. Anderson's termination after describing the director's conduct as "insubordination." 

Ms. Gravelle said Ms. Anderson did not respond to take an animal after Bradley County deputies received a 911 call from a resident regarding a pit bull.

When the shelter did not take the animal, it later bit the man. He had to receive stitches.

Ms. Gravelle said, "No one from the SPCA tried to call the deputy back." Part of the SPCA's contract with the county involves operating as animal control. 

She continued, "This organizational failure, if left unchecked, is not only in breach of the contract but in violation of our mission."

Bradley County resident Perk Evans asked the board, "Why would it continue to employ a person who has clearly violated...contractual obligations to Bradley County?" 

Ms. Gravelle replied that it should not and then addressed Ms. Anderson, "As of right now, you're terminated immediately."

However, Commissioner Peak-Jones said, "You cannot fire anyone on your own." 

At this point, Ms. Gravelle made the motion for Ms. Anderson's dismissal. Commissioner Peak-Jones asked to speak first, but Ms. Gravelle would not let her have the floor.

Commissioner Peak-Jones said, "I am respectfully asking you to let me be heard before you make this decision." 

The motion passed, but Commissioner Peak-Jones continuously asked Ms. Gravelle to rethink her decision.

She told the board that Ms. Gravelle had never submitted paperwork detailing a plan for the shelter or a job description for Ms. Anderson. She also pointed out that nowhere in the contract with the county did it say the shelter could not have a capacity. 

She said, "We did not vote for a no kill shelter. You cannot put 10 dogs in one little crate."

Commissioner Peak-Jones also said, "By being uninformed about the policy and the hierarchy that was already in place, we inadvertently transferred power back and forth and created a hostile environment and unprofessional setting." 

She continued, "The president should have never been given authority to implement any policy other than what the board had already established. The president never submitted any policy of her own or any plan of action. Entertaining the idea of a policy or guideline to run a shelter without a clearly written plan is ludicrous."

Commissioner Peak-Jones made a motion to "end the chaos" and transfer all power back to the director. However, the motion did not pass. 

Dan Rawls said, regarding Ms. Anderson allegedly ignoring a 911 animal call, "She did not do what she should have done. There's no excuse." He said those actions opened the board up to liability.

He said, "There's no excuse for her not calling them back...We don't have any insurance. There's no insurance for us against that liability." 

Commissioner Peak-Jones asked for Ms. Anderson to be able to explain her side of the story, but her request was denied. Ms. Anderson also repeatedly asked to speak.

However, while Ms. Anderson stood at the podium, Ms. Gravelle would not let her speak. An officer walked up to force her to sit back down. 

Shortly after, Commissioner Peak-Jones resigned from the board.

It was announced the next SPCA meeting will be Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m.



- Photo2 by Hollie Webb

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