Georgia Supreme Court rules on Gordon city attorney issue
In May of 2014, Whipple-Lue made a motion to fire Boone. With three council members for the motion, two against, and one abstained, Whipple voted to remove Boone.
The city charter states “the affirmative vote of four council members shall be required for the adoption of any ordinance, resolution, or motion.” The mayor is only allowed to vote in the case of a tie.
Whipple-Lue counted the abstained vote as a negative vote and treated the motion as a tie.
The same actions took place in hiring Ronny E. Jones as the interim city attorney.
Boone filed a position against both decisions saying the actions were made against the requirements of the city charter.
Justice Carol Hunstein granted Boone’s petition saying “we find no authority permitting the mayor to count the council member’s abstention from voting as a negative vote, thereby creating a tie.”
The ruling says “There was no tie vote on the motion and Mayor Lue was not authorized to cast a vote in its favor. The sole authority to appoint a city attorney thus remained in the city council.”