A Savannah church pastor placed under arrest – indicted for child molestation.
He is no longer preaching at their pulpit but he is still on the job with the City of Savannah.
Three counts – all involving sex with an underage girl.
Those are the charges Alfonzo Mcclendon was indicted on.
Charges that shocked his parishioners at First Metropolitan Baptist Church as well as folks in the community.
Now some of those same people are wondering why he still has a job.. or at least isn’t on leave?
This was the scene at First Metropolitan Baptist Church on July 22. The historic church burned to the ground.
It was the second huge blow to this congregation in the last month. The first, their pastor, Alfonzo McClendon, being arrested for child molestation.
The indictment uses words like groping, immoral and indecent acts and claims he had sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16.
McClendon is out of the pulpit but still on the job with the city of Savannah.
He works for the city in the fleet department of the City as a parts clerk.
McClendon has never been fired or even placed on leave, despite his charges.
News 3 received email records from the city starting just after his arrest in late June between his supervisor and human resources.
The City’s Risk Management advisor Bryan Hollis recommended back on July 1 that he be sent home on “paid leave'” and eventually “separated”, or let go.
This would be in line with city policy which states under the header “cause for suspension, demotion or dismissal”, the Number 1 line, “having committed an immoral or criminal act.”
That statute continues to say “or” getting convicted, but does not state you have to be convicted to get fired or suspended.
That July 1 email conversation was the last one that was put on paper. The city tells News 3 there was “no more” documentation or discussions about Mcclendon’s job status.
I asked the City Human Resources Director Jeff Grant why McClendon was seemingly not even reprimanded and is still working for the city.
Grant’s response read in part his “responsibilities are not relevant to the alleged conduct”.
“I’ve spoken with the employee and his supervisor and there isn’t an issue with the work environment as it pertains to any disruption, nor does he work with minors.”
The City also sent a 7 part Human Resources “approach” to dealing with possible suspensions or firings.
Those guidelines however, are not written down in any city manual and are not an official part of city policy. They are just general guidelines that Jeff Grant himself has created.
The city says this situation and our story show that policy manuals when it comes to these types of events “may” be outdated.
They did not have an exact date on when the current guidelines were created.
Officials are looking into “tightening up” the policy so there is no “grey area” if and when situations like this happen again.