"Any action I take depends on what Director Lloyd can produce, and I will review the documentation he provides and take action either way by Friday. But if he produces nothing, I will ask him to resign," Hankerson said Tuesday afternoon.
Acceptable proof would be the citations that accompany such awards earned while he served in the Navy, the medals themselves, or anything that substantially proves his previous claims, county spokesman Robert Quigley said.
Hankerson and a county attorney are expected to meet with Lloyd and Lloyd's attorney in Hankerson's office this afternoon. Lloyd himself sent word through the county's communications department that he would not comment until after today's meeting.
The county began looking into Lloyd's military decorations in late June, after receiving a letter questioning Lloyd's claims that he has received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and other awards. When two DD 214 military documents surfaced in Lloyd's county personnel file - one listing two medals earned and the other listing eight - and Lloyd could not provide documentation to back up the medals in question, Hankerson requested and received Lloyd's permission to request his official military records from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
Lloyd has provided only two public comments on the matter. The first came on July 1, when he issued this statement: "I am very proud of my military service and serving my country in Vietnam and the awards that I received. However, there are things that I cannot discuss in public."
Lloyd issued his second statement on July 6, which said: "I have been silent on this while awaiting the arrival of my official military records. I feel confident they will support my position. I am not answering media questions because I have been advised to withhold comment pending the arrival of my records. I would appreciate judgment being withheld until we have all the facts in."
After reviewing Lloyd's service files on Friday, which reportedly total six to eight pages, Hankerson directed Lloyd, via letter, to "present competent and reliable evidence" of his Navy accomplishments by today, "to ensure that the Board of Commissioners and I will continue to have confidence in your ability to provide leadership to the Public Safety Agency." Hankerson stated in the letter that some of the biographical information Lloyd has provided to organizations prior to speaking engagements and the military experience included in a curriculum vitae found in the public safety computer system of the county - which Quigley said only Lloyd and his secretary have access to - do not match with what is found in his official military records.
Lloyd, 60, was hired as Cobb's Public Safety Director in January 2003 on Hankerson's recommendation. His current salary is $137,859. Quigley said Lloyd will be able to receive his 7 years worth of pension from the county, even if he is fired, but under federal law he will not be eligible to receive the pension until he reaches the age of 65.
Lloyd attended newly elected Chairman Tim Lee's swearing in ceremony Tuesday afternoon, and Commissioner Helen Goreham said during the reception that the commissioners would wait until Hankerson made his final decision before taking any action.
"I think it's important to point out that it hasn't been proven that he lied, so the meeting tomorrow is necessary to decide if proof is, in fact, present," Goreham said. "If it is not, we have to await the county manager's decision and proceed from there."
Commissioners Bob Ott and Woody Thompson also said during Tuesday's reception that they will serve on an appeals committee for the personnel actions Hankerson takes, so they will wait to receive his decision before providing opinions on the controversy. But Thompson said he would be disappointed if it becomes Hankerson's belief that Lloyd has lied.
"We all become very close with our department heads, and Director Lloyd is no different, so of course if any issue like this comes up with them we always hope for the best and would always like to see them exonerated," Thompson said.
Ott agreed, saying: "I would be disappointed if it was found that any county employee has been dishonest, and right now there are a lot of unknowns and ifs, but the county manager will just have to make his judgment based on the facts, whatever they are. None of us have seen any of the records, and we'll let the county manager do his job until he's made his decision."
Lloyd previously spent 29 years with the Atlanta Police Department, and was its deputy chief when he retired in 2000. He then spent about two years with the state department of public safety/homeland security, before being hired as Cobb's "super cop," overseeing both the county's police, fire, 911 and animal control departments.
Some residents have come forward to defend Lloyd, as Mary Rose Barnes did during the public comment portion of Tuesday night's Board of Commissioners meeting.
"I called on Director Lloyd when we've had issues in our county and I always found him to be most responsive. He even gave me his cell phone number when we had some noise issues due to construction and said if the issue came up again, to call him. He has always been open to my suggestions. I thank him for his years of service to this county and he is an asset to this county and deserves respect for his leadership," Barnes said.
Oliver Halle, 64, of east Cobb, a Navy veteran who was the officer in charge of a swift boat during the Vietnam War, said Tuesday: "Failure to substantiate his awards and service demonstrates that there is no documentation, and his credibility at this point is so undermined that it's impossible for him to continue as the director of public safety, in my opinion. It is inconceivable that these records would not be available to substantiate his awards and claimed military service."
In August 2006, Lloyd fired an entire class of 20 police recruits who cheated on a test. In explaining his action, Lloyd was quoted in the Journal as saying: "The Cobb County Police Department enjoys a reputation of being a top police department in the state. That's because of the high standards and integrity of the officers."
Halle, also a retired FBI agent, said, "I've known Mickey for a very long time. He's had a very solid reputation in law enforcement. He's a man of integrity and accomplishment. That said, you can't have a police department or department of public safety where there are two standards of integrity: one for the director and one for the rank and file."
News Editor Kim Isaza contributed to this story.