Augusta decision on stores and nightclub called confusing

AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – When it comes to city businesses singled out by the Sheriff’s Office for crime concerns, city leaders say they are sending mixed messages.

“We took action and that for whatever reason decided not to take action on certain things, I don’t know, it’s really confusing,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett.

Last month commissioner placed Club Rain on probation after a fatal shooting outside the business, but now that probation is rescinded.

“The club owner is doing everything, he’s had security measures in place but now he even has a deputy, a sheriff coming in before opening,” said Commissioner Stacy Pulliam.

Probation was also on the table for the Shoppers Stop on Olive Road and Smart Grocery on Wrightsboro Road. But commissioners voted six to four against taking action.

“You have stores that are at the center of a thousand-plus crimes, including murder. You have a problem. I don’t think the commission should back away from that,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

But others are voting against probation after the stores reduced hours and added security.

“He’s putting cameras out everywhere, he’s willing to shut down at certain hours. Let’s just see since he’s willing to do that. Give him a chance,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

“They kept telling us about the things they had done since they were brought in front of the commission, which tells me they weren’t going to do anything until they were brought in front of the commission,” said Garrett.

But the commission also didn’t do anything against the businesses.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WJBF.