City suspends federal programs director

November 15, 2013 9:52:43 AM

Sarah Fowler - sfowler@cdispatch.com

 

Travis Jones, federal programs director for the city of Columbus, has been suspended from his job for five days without pay. 

 

Human Resources Director Pat Mitchell confirmed Jones' suspension Thursday. Mitchell said Jones was issued a notice of suspension on Nov. 7 for "inattention to duty." Jones was suspended by city chief operations officer David Armstrong, his immediate supervisor. He will be eligible to return to work Wednesday. 

 

Jones did not respond to messages seeking comment. 

 

Mitchell would not comment on the specifics of Jones' suspension. 

 

However, the city recently missed an opportunity to obtain a $500,000 grant due to a mathematical error Jones made in a grant application. The grant, offered by The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, required a match of $120,000. Due to Jones' error, the city council approved an application that included a $100,000 match, $20,000 short of the required amount. 

 

The city was informed last week that its grant was rejected because the application did not meet that criteria. 

 

Jones' suspension did not go before the city council. Any city employee can be suspended for up to 15 days without approval by the city council, according to city policy. That policy excludes employees of the Columbus Police Department and Columbus Fire and Rescue because they are classified as civil service employees. 

 

Jones has been employed with the city since 1994. A former housing inspector, Jones was promoted to director of federal programs in 2010. 

 

He earns $42,950 a year.

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.