Judge will decide July 25 on Gordon lawsuit | News
A judge says he'll decide July 25th whether Gordon's mayor should be removed from office and denied the defendents request to dismiss.
Wilkinson County Superior Court, Judge Robert Reeves gave lawyers in the case 60 days to interview witnesses and collect more evidence.
Seven people have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to remove Mayor Mary Ann Whipple Lue. Among other things, they say she's held several illegal meetings, spent money without authority and illegally took keys to personnel records from the city.
Lawyer Wayne Kendall filed two motions to dismiss the case. "The first motion was that the mayor does not fit the definition of an agency. She can not constitute a quorum of a governing body, therefore she is not subject to an open meetings act as an individual single office holder," said Kendall. "And the second motion was that as the mayor of the City of Gordon, she's not a legal entity under Georgia law that could be sued."
Devlin Cooper represents the seven people who belong to the Concerned Citizens of Gordon. "First of all the open meetings act specifically allows you to sue people who violate it. And it's in the statute, it says that any person who knowingly, and willfully violates the open meetings act can be held liable to civil penalties, so that's what our suit seeks to do," said Cooper. "The other thing that the suit seeks to do is make these alligations under the code of the City of Gordon and the Charter of the City of Gordon, which allow for her removal from office."
Over the next 60 days lawyers say they will be fact-finding. "We're gonna do discovery, take some depositions and go forward from there," said Kendall.
"We're gonna be conducting a variety of depositions. We need to talk with Towanna Brown, we need to talk to the police chief of Gordon, we need to talk with the people who filed suit against her and filed EEOC complaints against her. We plan to depose all four of the other members of the city council, we plan to depose the mayor," said Cooper.
Camera's were not allowed in the courtroom, which was widely divided into white and black.
Phyllis Payne, who lives in Gordon, isn't exactly sure why black and white people sat on different sides.
More than 50 people were at court. Whipple Lue did not attend the hearing. Her lawyer said she was busy with other obligations.