UPDATE: Gordon’s decision to fire city attorney under legal review
Thursday night, the council unexpectedly voted 3-2 in favor of firing Boone without any explanation.
41NBC obtain a copy of the city’s charter. It requires four members to adopt any motion.
Check back with 41NBC for updates on this story.
GORDON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Gordon City Council has fired city attorney Joseph Boone.
It was standing room only for tonight’s surprise vote.
Residents witnessed the city’s continued struggle to get its finances in order.
In a swift vote, Council fired the City Attorney, but according to the charter, that might not be legal.
The Council voted 3 to 2 in *favor of firing city attorney Joseph Boone, and this as the city is facing multiple lawsuits.
“If it’s perceived that I’m the problem, then I don’t want to be that problem,” said Former Gordon City Attorney Joseph Boone.
Together we stand, divided we fall–it’s a message citizens of Gordon want the Council to hear.
But Wednesday night, people at the city hall annex felt a divide, as Council voted to fire City Attorney Joseph Boone with no explanation.
“Well no but it really doesn’t matter there doesn’t have to be a reason to terminate the attorney,” said Boone.
Boone didn’t know why, and neither did councilman Terry Eady, who abstained from the vote.
“No sir, this is the first I’ve heard of it tonight, when it came up before us tonight that’s the first I’ve heard about it,” said Eady.
But was the vote legal?
The Gordon city charter states: “…the affirmative vote of four council members shall be required for the adoption of any ordinance, resolution, or motion.”
With Eady’s abstaining, the vote was 3-2, which according to the charter, shouldn’t count.
“I was trying to get this tabled more or less by not being able to vote on it–that would give us more time to talk about it, research it and find out what’s going on,” said Eady.
And Eady thinks this apparent mistake in city protocol may come back to haunt the city.
“I mean everything that was said and done at this table may come back up at a later time,” said Eady.
And as far as the legal future of the city, Boone wouldn’t comment–but says whoever replaces him has tough work ahead.
“There are a number of serious legal matters pending in court right now, so I would hope it would be someone who has fairly extensive legal experience with municipal and government law. (Because you feel that would be needed?) Absolutely,” said Boone.
Boone tells 41NBC he has been honored to serve as the city attorney.
As of right now, he has not decided if he will challenge the legality of the vote.
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