Campaign Coverage 2020

EMS chief says he resigned in face of anti-gay hostility

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The former leader of emergency medical services in a Georgia city says he resigned in the face of discrimination because he's gay. James Kelly says he faced hostility in Augusta from Fire Chief Chris James. Kelly’s accusation arrives as the city-county fire service faces union complaints about James’ leadership. Kelly’s letter to Augusta commissioners says he was denied access to meetings, refused an office, opposed on simple requests and humiliated by James and former fire department attorney Jody Smitherman. Kelly says his former supervisor had warned him, saying "if he knew of your lifestyle, he would have never hired you.” James says Kelly's claims are unfounded.

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