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Gordon Mayor Whipple-Lue responds to lawsuit filed against her

Gordon's mayor is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit that a group of concerned citizens filed against her.
Gordon Mayor Mary Ann Whipple Lue said she wants to set the record straight, but not until after the city's audit. (Sean Franklin)
Gordon Mayor Mary Ann Whipple Lue said she wants to set the record straight, but not until after the city's audit. (Sean Franklin)
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Gordon's mayor is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit a group of concerned citizens filed against her.

The mayor's lawyer filed a response to it, and said there are a lot of holes in the argument.

Mayor Mary Ann Whipple-Lue's lawyer, Wayne Kendall, made it clear:

"The Mayor, as mayor of the city of Gordon, is not a sueable entity," said Kendall.

The Mayor is a single person, an officeholder, and Kendall says she cannot be sued.

That's the main argument in the Mayor's response to a lawsuit a group of concerned citizens filed.

On one hand, there's the original lawsuit that says there are multiple violations of the Open Meetings Act in Gordon.

But on the other, you've got the Mayor's response, written by her lawyers, which attempts to put holes in this lawsuits argument.

"There can be no violation of the open meetings act by a single office holder," said Kendall.

According to Georgia law, the act refers to some sort of group of decision-makers in authority.

"An agency which is defined as a city or county or board or commissioner or authority of a city or county or a water authority or department of the state of Georgia or the state of Georgia itself--in other words, the open meetings act applies to governments," said Kendall.

On the flip side, attorney for the Concerned Citizens, Devlin Cooper, believes that argument won't hold up in court.

"The very purpose of the open meetings act is to hold a public official responsible for not violating the act," said Cooper.

Cooper says certain procedures have to be followed, and the group of seven Gordon residents he's representing, including two city council members, say Mayor Mary-Ann Whipple-Lue has failed to follow the law in Gordon.

Cooper added Kendall's response doesn't interpret the law correctly.

"If you believe the motion that was filed, then the Open Meetings Act has no meaning whatsoever," said Cooper. "I mean, you wouldn't be able to sue any public official for violating the Act."

41NBC did speak with the Mayor briefly today, and she said she wanted to set the record straight once and for all, but wanted the city audit she is pushing to finish first.

Cooper said he and his firm would respond to Kendall next week, after they review the matter further.
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