Haddix won't pay back $10K

Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix has declined a request from his fellow council members to repay nearly $10,000 in taxpayer money that was spent to cover his legal bills in a libel lawsuit filed against him personally, not in his capacity as mayor.

In response, council members directed City Attorney Ted Meeker to write an appeal to the city’s risk management company, asking it to reverse its decision to foot Haddix’s legal bill, which in turn forced the city to spend the money to reimburse the company without approval from the city council.

The matter unfolded at Thursday night’s city council meeting, in the wake of the lawsuit, which centered on an email Haddix sent to a city employee that contained the accusation that former Mayor Harold Logsdon “drank a lot and came to meetings part drunk.”

Haddix contended the city should pay his legal fees since he was acting as mayor when he sent the email.

“What part of your duties as mayor called upon you to insult the former mayor?” asked Councilman George Dienhart, who asked a similar question two other times, only to get no direct answer from Haddix, who said he was not going to get into the issues of the case.

It came out Thursday night that the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Association turned down three requests from Haddix to fund his defense, based on the premise that he was sued as a private citizen and not in his capacity as mayor. But a fourth request in February, authored by City Attorney Ted Meeker at

Haddix’s request, was successful in convincing the agency to pay Haddix’s legal bills in the suit.

“I believe I was entitled, I believe I was acting as mayor, and that’s my bottom line,” Haddix said.

Because GIRMA agreed to cover the legal bills, the city had to write a check to GIRMA for the amount because the total came in under the city’s $25,000 deductible for legal expenses per case.

Thursday night, Haddix claimed he was covered under the city’s indemnification ordinance. But City Attorney Ted Meeker, under questioning by council, noted that the indemnification ordinance only covers council members for performing their duties in the scope of their employment or official actions.

“I did not see how the indemnification resolution covered it given the nature of the allegations,” Meeker said.
Dienhart implored the mayor to repay the money to save the city additional legal fees it would need to pay to seek to recoup the money.

Haddix pointed out that he apologized in the newspaper and to former Mayor Logsdon, whom Haddix claims refused the apology.

The lawsuit was settled with a confidential agreement between the two parties that included a written apology from Haddix to Logsdon. Haddix accused his fellow council members of determining he was guilty of the offense.

“I’m not judging you either way,” replied Dienhart. “I’m asking you for $10,000 on behalf of the people of Peachtree City.
Haddix called the difference between him being sued and the city being sued “a little thing.” To which Dienhart replied, “Ten thousand dollars is not a little thing.”

A number of facts were presented Thursday night that show Haddix defended himself in the lawsuit outside of city policy for lawsuits filed directly against the city, including:

• Haddix chose his own attorney in the matter instead of being represented by City Attorney Ted Meeker or an attorney appointed by GIRMA, which is the usual process; however Meeker noted that he told Haddix right away he could not represent him since he was a witness to council meetings at which Logsdon was present during his term as mayor and thus could be a witness in the lawsuit;

• Haddix alone controlled the result of the lawsuit and negotiated the settlement; had the city been sued the decision on defending or settling the lawsuit would have been left up to the city council;

• A total of three requests for GIRMA to fund Haddix’s defense were denied based on the fact that the suit was filed against Haddix as a citizen and not in his official role as mayor;

Councilman Eric Imker asked Meeker if he thought Haddix’s actions in the matter amounted to a breach of the city’s ethics ordinance. Meeker said he would have to review the ordinance again to make such a determination.

Imker also inquired whether the email would have violated a city policy that states messages such as emails “should be professional.”

Meeker replied that he wouldn’t consider such a statement to be considered professional.

Haddix said he would provide Meeker with the previously-confidential settlement document, a request made after Imker suggested the city’s payment makes the document a public record.

Meeker confirmed that there are no open records law exceptions that would prevent that settlement from being a public record because cities are prevented from entering confidential settlements according to Georgia law.

The matter also drew interest from three citizens who spoke during public comments at the beginning of Thursday’s city council meeting. Each demanded that the city be repaid by the mayor for the expenditure.

Davids mom
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Obama and First Lady - Memorial Day

at Arlington National Cemetery 2012. (also 2011)

yellowjax1212
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I won't say, "I told you so but..."

This is why it so important to really know the person you are voting for.
The first time I ever met Dandy Don, I found his demeanor and character to be spiteful and condescending. Exactly what we are seeing now.
However, there were enough people who allowed themselves to get worked into such an anti-establishment tizzy that they blindly allowed Don to frame himself as the candidate of "Change" (sound familiar?).
Well, the question is the same on this level. How's that Change thing workin' out for ya.

LessThan3PTC
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Ridiculous!

Haddix needs to repay PTC in full and be charged every. single. dollar and cents it costs to recoup the money. You should have done the right thing Mr. Haddix, now you can rack up the title of "crook" to all of the many other less than flattering terms used to describe you by the fine folks of PTC.

yeahwhatever
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Bonus!!!

In these tough economic times involving layoffs, furloughs, reduced services, etc., the "Mayor" just effectively decided that he deserves a $10,000.00 bonus to cover the costs of his own moral/ethical error. What an outstanding example of fiscal and personal responsibility!!!! PTC voters really know how to pick 'em!

h2otom
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Pay up !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do yourself a favor mayor, pay back the money you owe Peachtree City, walk away from the office of mayor, and go puff your chest out in another town, you have worn out your welcome here, your services are no longer needed. You have made a fool of yourself at our expence one to many times.
I am all for taking the mayor to court to get the $10,000 back. Where do I sign up. I want to be there when the judge slams his gaval and says " PAY UP ". A recall is in order for this fool of a mayor......

Spyglass
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Haddix spent 150 years worth of my Stormwater Tax

And he does not think it is a big deal.

He can pound sand.

Robert W. Morgan
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Excellent question, George

This whole thing can be condensed into this one question, a question that any judge, jury, ethics committee or any city councilman or regular Peachtree City citizen realizes is unanswerable:

"“What part of your duties as mayor called upon you to insult the former mayor?” asked Councilman George Dienhart, who asked a similar question two other times"

The question itself is too long to be imprinted on t-shirts (as previously was done) but it might make a good yard sign or even a bumper sticker. I'd certainly put one on my golf cart. Maybe picket signs at the entrance to city hall. I do think this question has to asked and asked and asked again until Haddix repays the money or resigns. Every council meeting, everytime you see him in public, everytime he blogs on here. A couple of yard signs at the entrance to his subdivision would be a nice touch as well.

Good question , George. Keep asking.

skyspy
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This is Sad

We have devolved into riverdale.....what a shame. First we had harmony/crimony village ...then we started electing low class idiots to lead our city/hood. This isn't what good looks like.

mudcat
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T-shirts for the mayor's disability

How about

I'D RATHER BE DRUNK TWICE A MONTH

THAN STUPID ALL THE TIME

Makes some sense generically, but is the ultimate insider's joke for PTC residents.

halfdollarandlost
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mudcat

Better yet mud,

DRUNKS EVENTUALLY BECOME SOBER,
BUT YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!!!

PTC Observer
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Interesting Facts - Haddix

These are some interesting facts.

" council members directed City Attorney Ted Meeker to write an appeal to the city’s risk management company, asking it to reverse its decision to foot Haddix’s legal bill, which in turn forced the city to spend the money to reimburse the company without approval from the city council."

If it comes to a suit by the city against Mr. Haddix, I would be happy to contribute to that as well. Under the same conditions, any leftover funds go to a charity.

You see Mr. Haddix, its a thing called principle, just a "little thing". There are more than just a few people out here in Peachtree City that are a little more than upset with your position on this. I for one am willing to spend a whole lot of money to get you to do the right thing. I would do the same thing for one of my children. Call it a matter of the cost of education in a lesson on personal responsibility.

mudcat
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Not only that, he's stonewalling on releasing the settlement

It is not on this site yet, but it was in the newspaper. Since he is clinging to the $10,000 with the excuse that he was acting as mayor in his official capacity, that made the settlement agreement with Logsdon a public document. So then The Citizen went after it so we could all read it. Thank you Cal. Haddix then ignored an open records request from The Citizen for 3 days. When they asked again he said that the second request started the three-day clock running again. I think that was Thursday so unlikely the settlement agreement will be released until after the holiday.

Why in the world is that? This man when presented with 2 choices has a real talent for always selecting the incorrect path. Not just once or twice, but always.

I have made my sign for tomorrow's parade. It is clever and unmistakeable with a request for the taxpayer's $10,000 to be returned. I actually think he will show up to honor the Memorial Day holiday and our genuine military heros - unlike President Obama who is golfing and sent Uncle Joe to Arlington to make a speech.

borntorun
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Haddix Stonewalling

I saw that article, Mudcat. I'm no expert on open records requests but Haddix's assertion that the clock started over with the second request doesn't pass the smell test. If he is correct, then all he would have to do is ignore every request, wait on another one and in theory never produce the requested information. Obviously, there's something in those documents...a smoking gun perhaps...that he doesn't want out there. There had to be something different in the letter submitted by Meeker than what was in the other requests that resulted in a change of heart by GIRMA. Will be interesting to see if/when Haddix ever complies with the request.

mudcat
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Haddix correct? Smell test? Smoking gun? Will be interesting

For sure it will be interesting, borntorun. The man is a complete idiot if he thinks we are going to roll over and play dead for this last silly attempt at a diversion. Agree that the starting the clock over defense is just plain silly, but then again - so is he.

See you at the parade. Bring a creative sign to smoke out our mayor and get the $10,000 back.

Three days after asking those that support him to step forward - I see that nothing has happened. Nothing. I wonder why. It may be possible that he has such an ego that he is the only person in PTC that thinks he is going to dodge this bullet and survive. Is there any serious person out there that thinks we will not all read the settlement agreement? Is there anyone out there that thinks we will not recover our $10,000 from this evil little man?

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - Wednesday

will come.

He will turn over the tax money or he will be sued personally, all proceeds, if any, in excess of the $10K will go to charity.

We will give the council time to work on it but not much.

Our legal action could go on for a prolonged period of time depending on how we approach the suit. Our goal is not to involve the city government.

In my view, the $10K is less important than the principle of not taking personal responsibility for his actions. The fact that we have a Mayor with this level of poor judgement is appalling and quite frankly frightening.

cogitoergofay
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Doesn't Mr. Logsdon have to

Doesn't Mr. Logsdon have to give permission for a release of the Agreement?

borntorun
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Don't Think So cogitoergofay

Seems to me that even if either or both parties do not want a document released, once something is declared a public document, then it is subject to the open records act and must be released when a request is made.

PTC Observer
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Mudcat - If

If this is true,

"...unlike President Obama who is golfing and sent Uncle Joe to Arlington to make a speech."

This president certainly does not represent the vast majority of the American citizens. After sending men and women into harms way, he will not honor our dead, he is a president in name only. What a fool, he deserves to be thrown out on his ear, with any luck America will come to its senses.

Davids mom
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Fox news contradicts Mudcat

Why is it necessary to tell falsehoods? The President will be at Arlington National Cemetary tomorrow. Read for yourself.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/05/26/obama-plans-memorial-da...

Veritas
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DM and Mud cat

Your both right and wrong .... Mudcat your reading info from 2010 when Obama was appaulingly absent from Arlington on memorial day and did send Biden in his stead. DM according to current info Mr.Obama will attend the Arlington service THIS year.

PTC Observer
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Veritas - Then

Then my first comment stands.

Here's a link explaining the 2010 episode. His absence on this occasion is beyond the pale and cannot be forgiven for a man in his position. Vacation, you have got to be kidding! It must be that change thing he was talking about.

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/05/26/president-obamas-memorial-day-vacation/

I suppose his appearance is explained this year, after all it's an election year.

Davids mom
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PTCO, Mudcat and others

From 2010 report:

Quote:

Steve Muro, the Department of Veterans Affairs acting undersecretary responsible for 131 national cemeteries, said Obama's decision to visit a cemetery named for Lincoln is appropriate, since the 16th president established the country's first 14 national cemeteries.

Not all of our war heroes are buried at Arlington. Visiting Pearl Harbor was a sobering experience. We'll see where the President of the United States recognizes the bravery of our fallen soldiers in 2012. What concerns MANY is what our leaders intend for those veterans of today's wars who are alive!

PTC Observer
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DM - Leaders

Yes MANY of us are concerned about that, especially during an election year.

Today we remember.

Davids mom
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PTCO

It's interesting to follow these bills in Congress - and see how many are passed which may help those veterans of the wars of the past 10 years.

http://veterans.house.gov/

rmoc
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DM ..you are correct

The Tea Party/Birthers and other Conservative fringe groups do themselves a great disservice by spreading incorrect info about Pres Obama. I am no fan of the Pres but both sides make their arguments weaker by spreading untruths.

mudcat
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I don't know, Davids Mom

I got a link as well. Here it is
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR201005...
Let's just see what actually happens. Your link had some carefully worded info that only kool-aid drinkers would take as gospel that he's going to appear. Let us see where the President shows up tomorrow. Me? I'll be honoring our heroes. What about you?

PTC Observer
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Good - DM

Good of him to perform his duty under the Constitution.

Section 2. Clause 1. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Office, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

As president he should represent us all on this somber day.

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