The status of Lloyd's employment with the county should be announced this afternoon, county spokesman Robert Quigley said. Lloyd is an "at-will employee," and County Manager David Hankerson has the right to fire him for any reason at any time, Quigley said.
A firestorm of controversy began to envelop Lloyd in mid-June, after county commissioners received a letter from Byll Davis of Vinings alleging that the public safety director, who presides over the county's police, fire, 911 and animal control departments, has continuously embellished his military career.
Lloyd publicly defended himself Wednesday afternoon, but questions linger whether he has been honest about his military history.
Lloyd has repeatedly been announced at speaking engagements and in publications as being a Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War, and having received varying medals including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Lloyd said Wednesday he did earn the Silver and Bronze stars, but never received the Purple Heart and never claimed to be a SEAL.
The Silver and Bronze stars are included on a DD 214 military discharge form Lloyd said he received in 1970, which also lists Lloyd as receiving the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon. However, a second DD 214 found in Lloyd's personnel file only lists the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Lloyd said Wednesday that he submitted the DD 214 with Silver and Bronze stars to the human resources department in March for retirement incentive purposes, but was told he would need a certified copy to submit, which is how the second DD 214 came to be. He said he requested it from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and received it in June. Lloyd said he never looked at it and sent a personnel representative to take it to the HR department. He said he was shocked later to find out that the second DD 214 listed only two medals.
However, Quigley said Lloyd's story has been confirmed false by county staff and officials.
"The first DD 214 he turned in at the end of March was certified and listed two medals. HR did not ask Director Lloyd for a certified copy, and from their perspective, they were done and did not need anything else from him," Quigley said. "He gave the second DD 214 listing eight medals to HR in June, telling them he wanted it included in his county personnel file."
Lloyd and his attorney met with Hankerson Wednesday afternoon for two-and-a-half hours in Hankerson's office to discuss official military records Hankerson received from the St. Louis records center. Lloyd acknowledged that the documents only list him receiving the National Defense and Vietnam service medals.
However, Lloyd gave Hankerson a stack of documents Wednesday that included a list of the eight medals he claims to have received, followed by this statement: "The Director has attached a photograph showing the presentation of at least one of the above awards."
The photograph is of Lloyd shaking an officer's hand while holding something in his other hand.
Navy Vietnam veteran and former FBI agent Oliver Halle said there is no way the photograph is of Lloyd being presented with any of the medals he claims to have been awarded.
"That is not a medal in his hand. I have a Combat Action Ribbon and it isn't that, and it definitely is not a Bronze Star or a Silver Star. I've been at medal ceremonies, and they pin it on you. You certainly wouldn't be holding it in your hand. To me, it looks more like a promotion ceremony, and definitely does not appear to be a ceremony awarding a combat medal," Halle said.
However, although no citations have surfaced proving the Silver Star, Halle said he saw one displayed in Lloyd's office around March 2008, and even discussed the medal with Lloyd.
"I was in his office to get his help to get a lot of cops to cover a Veterans Memorial Day event in East Cobb Park I was helping to organize and I saw it on the right side of his office in a display case. And he was behind his desk and I said something in shock like, 'I didn't know you won a silver star, whoa!' I mean, that's a really big deal, to see that. Whatever he said back was a typical, humble remark, then we went on speaking about other things," Halle said.
When asked Wednesday if he will ever be able to prove he won the Silver and Bronze stars, Lloyd said: "I don't know. As of right now, I can't prove I have them."
If terminated, Lloyd can appeal the county manager's decision to the county commissioners, who would likely vote in executive session whether to hear it, Quigley said. If so, the appeals hearing would take place in a public session, during which commissioners would vote whether to uphold the decision, Quigley said.