August 8, 2013 10:10:55 AM
Jabari Edwards, owner of project managing firm J5/Broaddus said Thursday he stands behind one of his employees, Orlando Rendall Smith, son of Columbus Mayor Robert Smith. The younger Smith was arrested Saturday.
Columbus Police Department records show Orlando Smith, 24, was arrested last Saturday and charged with failure to appear. He was released on a $25 bond. Neither the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center nor the Columbus Police Department could provide a record of what Orlando Smith was originally arrested for.
As of July 2, J5/Broaddus, a joint venture between Edwards and Texas-based Broaddus & Associates, was selected to fill the newly created city position of project manager.
Edwards said he was not aware of the arrest and that Smith is a construction manager in training.
"He works with J5," Edwards said. "We do work in other cities and he's done some work for us in other cities. I don't know anything about an arrest or anything like that, but ... this young man works his tail off. Regardless of what time he has to be there, he is there and he is prompt. He does whatever he's called on to do in his role as a CM in training. He's gone above and beyond the call of duty when we assign him to a task. He's a great young man in my eyes, and I stand behind him 120 percent."
The city voted in favor of paying J5/Broaddus $90,000 annually plus six percent of project expenses July 23.
It was announced Tuesday that J5/Broaddus would take over day-to-day project management responsibilities from city engineering firm Neel-Schaffer and keep the latter firm on the city staff on an as-needed basis.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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