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News conference to address mayor's actions

The Rev. Fred Favors, the pastor of Springfield Baptist Church, has called a news conference in front of city hall at 5:30 p.m. today to discuss Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry's actions involving a city employee who drove a city-owned vehicle after drinking.

"We just want to express our thoughts and concerns about what took place with the mayor," Favors, who is also a McDuffie County commissioner, said today.

Asked if there will be a call for the mayor to resign, Favors said, "there very possibly will."

On the night of June 18, Public Works supervisor Scott Huff drove to an area where stormwinds had downed a tree. Police at the scene said they smelled alcohol on Huff's breath, and they were administering a field sobriety test on him when the mayor arrived. After some discussion, the mayor said to Huff, "Come on with me," and he drove Huff home in the city vehicle.

Huff, who told police that he had had one or two beers, was placed on 10 days' suspension, but the mayor's actions prevented the administration of a blood-alcohol test that could have resulted in a DUI charge, Thomson Police Chief Joe Nelson has said.

Usry has said that he acted out of concern for not only Huff's safety but also that of others on the scene and that he was not trying to impede the police investigation.

Web posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

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