PTC Mayor Haddix faces almost certain censure from council
A dispute over decorum will come to a head at the Peachtree City Council meeting Thursday night with an unprecedented vote to officially censure a sitting mayor.
That’s when council is expected to adopt a resolution formally reprimanding Mayor Don Haddix for criticizing current and former city employees, elected officials and appointed officials.
The resolution also raps Haddix for criticizing several governmental agencies, including the Fayette County Development Authority and the Atlanta Regional Commission, “which has damaged the city’s relationship with those and other agencies.”
The resolution also specifically admonishes Haddix “for comments and actions directed toward former Mayor Harold Logsdon and former employee Joey Grisham.”
Haddix is being sued for libel by Logsdon based on an email Haddix sent to economic development coordinator Joey Grisham in which Haddix claimed that Logsdon showed up “part drunk” to meetings.
Grisham, who started in January as the city’s first economic development coordinator, resigned in early May, and he later cited problems with Haddix as one of the chief reasons for his departure.
Haddix has said he will challenge the censure and “prove all their accusations false.”
Although the censure would be a symbolic gesture only, it also makes a significant statement about the rift between Haddix and council members Eric Imker, Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard.
At the July 21 council meeting, all three said they were tired of apologizing for comments made by Haddix. Learnard specifically also said the city had a number of positive things going for it, and she was tired of the “18-month pattern of negativity.”
At that meeting, Haddix prevented a vote on the censure resolution by walking out of the meeting when he was not granted a postponement of the matter. The walk-out left council without a quorum to finish the remaining business left on the agenda: the censure vote and also executive (closed) session during which council typically discusses pending or threatened litigation and personnel matters.
During that discussion, Haddix said because the item was placed on the agenda the day prior to the meeting, he hadn’t had time to prepare a response to the censure. After a few minutes of give and take on the matter between Haddix and the rest of council, the mayor left council chambers, visibly frustrated that his fellow council members hadn’t acquiesced to his request.
Although it is a rare occurrence for the Peachtree City Council to formally criticize the mayor, it has happened at least once in city history. Back in July 1982, after a very lengthy hearing, council determined that then-Mayor Fred Brown interfered with the police department on two specific occasions: once when asking an officer to void a parking ticket and the other by interrupting the interrogation of a police suspect. Council also determined that Brown did not obstruct law enforcement, according to city records.