Haddix pay cut headed to court?

Former Attorney General Bowers asks for restoration of PTC mayor’s salary, cut by council in June over legal fee flap

The Peachtree City Council’s decision to severely cut the salary of Mayor Don Haddix in June — in retribution for a dispute over $10,000 in legal fees — appears headed for a challenge in court.

A notice of intent to file a lawsuit has been filed by Haddix’s attorney, former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers. The notice was served on the four council members who unanimously voted to cut Haddix’s pay from $750 a month to $75: George Dienhart, Kim Learnard, Vanessa Fleisch and Eric Imker.

In the letter, Bowers urged council to avoid a lawsuit by restoring Haddix’s back pay and his salary for the rest of his term in office. If that doesn’t happen within 30 days, the matter will be headed to court, Bowers wrote.

“If this dispute is not resolved, it is the citizens of Peachtree City that will suffer because their already limited resources will be wasted in defending the unlawful actions of the City Council taken on June 7, 2012,” Bowers said in the letter.

Bowers said city ordinance forbids adjusting salaries for the mayor and council members in mid-term, because the city charter requires they be established “during the proceeding term for which such officials shall have been appointed or elected.”

“The City Council had no authority to reduce Mayor Haddix’s salary by ‘budget amendment,’” Bowers wrote.

When council voted to cut Haddix’s pay, they did so to recoup nearly $10,000 in city funds spent to defend and settle a libel lawsuit filed against Haddix as a private citizen by former Mayor Harold Logsdon.

The city had to pay the legal bill after its risk management insurance carrier determined it qualified for coverage due to the fact that the alleged libelous statement in question was contained in an email from Haddix to a city staffer and thus was considered “official business.”

Although the risk management company had the final say on coverage of the legal matter, the city had to pay for the $9,969 in legal fees including the settlement because the amount was under the city’s $25,000 deductible.

The lawsuit was settled in December for a $3,000 payment to Logsdon and a written apology.

In his letter putting the city on notice of a potential lawsuit, Bowers noted that Haddix’s pay cut, as authorized by his fellow council members, was tantamount to a “legislatively enacted punishment” constituting a bill of attainder.

“If the City Council does not authorize the payment of the salary currently owed and restoration of Mr. Haddix’s salary, the members of the city council will be acting oppressively, maliciously, corruptly, without authority of law, and in bad faith by knowingly violating the law and acting outside the scope of their discretionary authority,” Bowers wrote. “Such actions may subject each member to personal liability.”

Haddix’s pay is currently established by budget at $9,000 a year even though by ordinance the mayor is entitled to a salary of $18,000 a year.

Following below is the entire text of the notice of intent to sue that was transmitted to the city:

Dear Peachtree City Council Members,

Balch & Bingham LLP has been retained by Mayor Don Haddix to challenge the reduction of his salary from $750.00 per month to $74.70 per month, which was approved by the Peachtree City Council on June 7, 2012 and implemented in Mr. Haddix’s July 19, 2012 check.

On behalf of Mr. Haddix and pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5 et seq., the purpose of this letter is to provide you with formal written notice that a suit will be instituted against Peachtree City, Georgia and the Peachtree City Council by Mr. Haddix arising out of above-referenced matter unless the dispute described herein is resolved within the next thirty (30) days.

Mr. Haddix intends to assert, among other things, claims for declaratory judgment, injunction, conversion, breach of contract, attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and all other remedies allowed by law.

While the City Council may have disagreed with the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (“GIRMA”) decision to reimburse Mr. Haddix, the City Council has no authority to use self-help methods to collect the amount of the reimbursement and other legal expenses from the salary of Mr. Haddix.

First, the City Council has no authority to reduce Mr. Haddix’s salary during his term.

As you are aware, state law authorizes city councils to set salaries for various individuals including mayors. Pursuant to that authority, the Peachtree City Charter explains that salaries “shall be established by ordinance during the proceeding term for which such official shall have been appointed or elected. Said salaries shall be paid in twelve (12) equal monthly installments on or before the last day of each month.” See Charter Sec. 2.10 (emphasis added).

In accordance with the Charter, the City Council adopted ordinances specifically setting salaries for the mayor and council members. See Ord. No. 2-23. Ordinance No. 2-23(a) specifically sets the salary of the mayor at $18,000 effective January 1, 2010. See Ord. No. 2-23(a).

Due to budget constraints, Mr. Haddix previously approved budgets allocating only $9,000 per year for the mayor’s salary. Such budgets, however, were not the proper means by which to alter the salary of the mayor, which is required by the Charter to be established by ordinance. See Charter Sec. 2.1 0.

The City Council’s recent purported “budget amendment” is improper because the City Charter requires the mayor’s salary to be set by ordinance during the term preceding his election and to be paid in twelve equal installments. The City Council had no authority to reduce Mayor Haddix’s salary by “budget amendment.”

Second, approval of the annual budget and all amendments thereto are required to be “approved by the mayor and council.” See Ord. Nos. 34-61, 34-66, 34-67. Mr. Haddix did not approve the purported “budget amendment” or “budget adjustment.” Thus, the salary reduction is improper for this additional reason.

Additionally, both the United States and Georgia Constitutions prohibit bills of attainder. U.S. Const. Art. I, §110, cl. 1; Ga. Const. Art. I, §1, para. 10.

The purported “budget amendment” singles out Mr. Haddix and penalizes him for GIRMA’s decision to reimburse him; therefore, it is a legislatively enacted punishment constituting a bill [of] attainder and is void.

Ordinance No. 2-23 sets Mr. Haddix’s salary as mayor. Based upon the unauthorized actions of the City Council, the City has not paid Mr. Haddix in accordance with the Ordinance. Therefore, the City is liable for the unlawful conversion of Mr. Haddix’s salary.

If the City Council does not authorize the payment of the salary currently owed and restoration of Mr. Haddix’s salary, the members of the city council will be acting oppressively, maliciously, corruptly, without authority of law, and in bad faith by knowingly violating the law and acting outside the scope of their discretionary authority.

Such actions may subject each member to personal liability.

Mr. Haddix will fully pursue his rights as described herein if this dispute cannot be resolved.

It is the sincere hope of Mr. Haddix that given the authorities cited above that Peachtree City and its City Council will remedy immediately the unlawful reduction in his salary by issuing a check for past due amounts and restoring his salary for the month of September and going forward to the end of his term.

If this dispute is not resolved, it is the citizens of Peachtree City that will suffer because their already limited resources will be wasted in defending the unlawful actions of the City Council taken on June 7, 2012.

I look forward to working with you to resolve this matter quickly and in the best interests of all involved.

Sincerely,
Michael J. Bowers
Balch & Bingham LLP
Atlanta, Ga.

americanpatriots
americanpatriots's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/05/2010
Larry Sussberg - Commissioners Salaries & BoE Salaries

Commissioners & BoE members are paid as follows per year: Commission Chairman, $29,666, others, $23,352. Board of Education, $6,000.

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/administration/boc/faq_boc.htm#Paid

Jim Richter

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
AmericanPariots - Fayette Commissioners/PTC Council etc

Thank you for that information.

Why are Fayette County Commissioners' and Chair salaries so high in comparison to the BOE, PTC Mayor and Council?

The workload for all should be about the same (?????)

I hope PTC can set the example here .... and let's hope Steve Brown as the new chair makes his first two proposals for salary reductions followed by term limits.

Eliminate the salaries permanently or until there is a balanced budget with no tax increase for a 3 to 4 year period.

Thanks again.

pumpkin
pumpkin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/19/2009
OMG ONE OF THE BEST POSTING I EVER READ

it appears someone has some sense

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
OMG WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT

First off, you are probably one of "those people" who drive in the left lane non-stop because nothing applies to you as evidenced by POSTING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE YOUR POST IS AMAZING!

Secondly, we have no idea what the hell you are responding to since you just throw some random comment up there under a Letter to the Editor instead of replying UNDER the magnificent post you thought was so great.

Not surprised at all you're a big Haddix fan, either. Sort of fits the stereotype.

madmike
madmike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2006
Funny Nuk_1

And unfortunately, so true.

madmike
madmike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2006
Pumpkin...

if Mayor Haddix was paid what he was worth, there would be a auto debit out of your joint account for about $5,000 a week. That may begin to pay back the city for all the damage your worse half has done.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
.

.

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
City Council & Mayor - Salaries

How about reinstating the mayor's salary but beginning January 1 2013 or when legally possible, council vote to eliminate all 5 salaries either permanently or until we can balance our budget without any tax increase but only after 2 or 3 consecutive year time period.

These jobs need to be volunteer like the commissions.

That may eliminate this problem since it will eliminate people who need the money as little as it may be.

Let's get back to public service!

As for what got us into this mess! Tighten the personnel policies involving liability procedures so people don't step in this mess in the future.
1-Make sure no one can use outside counsel in such suits.
2-In the communication policy restrct elected officials from public blogging and letters to the editor on city business.
3-Establish strict email rules whereby any slanderous, inappropriate statements made will be exempt from liability insurance protection.

Most of this is common sense but clearly some lack it and it has cost the taxpayers money. Most large companies have very clear policies, it might be time to tighten them up to protect the citizens from their elected officials.

Of course, we can start by vetting our officials in the election process then elect those who have real intelligence with proven leadership and management skills.

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
.

.

Bostonian212
Bostonian212's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2012
ethics complaint brought by Steve Thaxton...

I totally understand the difference between the two. The point I was attempting to make was- why we have seen nothing from this paper regarding the dropping of the ethics complaint brought by Steve Thaxton?

Cal Beverly
Cal Beverly's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/02/2005
You missed this posting from Tuesday night . . .

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/08-21-2012/ethics-complaint-against-p...

Ethics complaint against PTC mayor dropped

Citizen cites wish to avoid spending money on legal fees for Haddix's attorney

An ethics complaint filed against Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix — stemming from nearly $10,000 in city funds paid to defend and settle a libel lawsuit — has been dropped.

The citizen who lodged the complaint, Steve Thaxton, dropped the complaint after he was unable to convince Haddix to forego legal representation in the matter when addressing council during a special called meeting Tuesday night.

Thaxton said since Haddix refused to go through the process without legal representation, he felt it necessary to drop the ethics charges to avoid a further expense of taxpayer money for legal fees.

Initially however, Thaxton tried to coax Haddix into a gentleman’s agreement in which Haddix would avoid the use of an attorney and Thaxton would drop the ethics complaint after the citizen ethics board made its decision on whether a violation occurred ... and before the board could vote on one of six potential “penalty” actions.

Haddix, who vehemently declined to take Thaxton up on the offer, said he was entitled to legal representation, and if Thaxton wanted to avoid that possibility he could withdraw the complaint.

Ultimately, City Attorney Ted Meeker hastily drew up a handwritten notice signed by Thaxton which formally communicated his wish to withdraw the complaint.

The called meeting Tuesday night was to allow council to appoint four members to the ethics board by drawing names out of a basket. After that was accomplished, council was expected to formally vote to ratify the $300 an hour attorney selected by Haddix to represent him for the ethics charge.

At that point, Thaxton rose and asked to speak but at first Haddix declined. Seconds later, common sense prevailed and Thaxton was allowed to make his proposal to Haddix.

To some the necessity of an attorney in an ethics hearing might seem odd, particularly given the ethics board’s lack of power to mete out “punishment” if a violation is deemed to have occurred.

By city ordinance, if an ethics board rules determines a public official or employee has violated the city’s ethics ordinance, it has several choices to conclude the matter:
• A public reprimand and admonishment not to violate the ethics code in the future;
• A formal reprimand;
• Public censure;
• Recommendation for termination, resignation or recall;
• Recommendation of prosecution in municipal court; and
• No admonishment and no further action.

The ethics complaint centered on a nearly $10,000 payment the city made to the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA) to cover the legal defense and settlement of a libel lawsuit filed against Haddix personally by former mayor Harold Logsdon. The statement at issue in the lawsuit was contained in an email from Haddix to a city employee, and ultimately the lawsuit was settled in December for a $3,000 payment from Haddix to Logsdon along with a letter of apology.

GIRMA initially denied coverage to Haddix but reversed its decision earlier this year several months after the case was settled. Because the $9,969 total for legal fees and the settlement was under the city’s $25,000 deductible, GIRMA per its contract cut a check for the amount, which required the city to repay GIRMA.

GIRMA officials would later say they would have covered Haddix’s legal fees from the beginning of the case had GIRMA known that the allegedly libelous statement been contained in an email from Haddix to a city employee which GIRMA contends brought the matter into the realm of official city business.

Thaxton contended that Haddix should have sought council approval for the expenditure instead of seeking payment from GIRMA. Thaxton also complained that Haddix chose to hire Fayetteville attorney John Mrosek who at the time of the libel suit was a plaintiff in a federal clean water lawsuit filed against the city.

The ethics complaint also accused Haddix of violating several portions of the city’s personnel policy, including one forbidding “discourteous treatment of the public or other employees.”

Some council members were outraged when the GIRMA payment came to light in May because it was thought since Haddix was sued personally and not in his official capacity as mayor, the city would not have to pay for his legal fees.

Several weeks after the GIRMA payment came to light, council decided to make a “budget adjustment” to reduce Haddix’s salary from $750 a month to just under $75 a month for the remainder of the fiscal year with the intention of recouping the funds that were paid to settle the lawsuit. That action is likely the first time in city history that a majority of council voted to dock the pay of a fellow elected official.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Thanks Cal forvthe details.

Haddix never fails to disappoint.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
So, let me see if I'm understanding this properly

First, Haddix (and or his attorney and or the city attorney) works around city council in secret and gets GIRMA to agree that his Logsden settlement and attorney fees are to be paid by GIRMA, but since the city has a $25k deductible GIRMA doesn't pay, so the city does, but council finds out about it way after the fact. Who authorized the check remains a mystery and no one wants to find out.

Because this smells bad, really bad, Steve Thaxton files an ethics charge against Haddix and instead of standing up and defending himself like a man (and like others have done), he hires himself a female attorney who bills $300 per hour to defend him and charges that to the city.

Since that is 3 times the going rate the city pays for legal advice, Thaxton asks Haddix for a "gentleman's" agreement (insert joke here) to forgo representation. Haddix says no. Thaxton withdraws the ethics charge because he doesn't want the city to incur that cost.

Then Haddix goes out and hires himself an even more expensive attorney to threaten the city council with a lawsuit if they don't restore Haddix's previously garnished salary. How Haddix gets the city to pay for this attorney is unclear, but history would tell us he expects the city to pay - not him.

It seems to me that we are not going to get through the next 2 years of Haddix's useless and ineffective term as mayor without the city paying for his legal fees one time or another. He seems intent on causing trouble and is more focused on the city paying his legal bills than he is on his job. So, if we are destined to be in a fight with him and paying for one lawyer or another - why not just draw the line in the sand right now, tell Mr. Bowers he has a fool for a client (he may not know that yet) and do absolutely nothing and let Mr. Bowers figure out how he is going to win his silly little lawsuit for $12,000 without funding from Haddix.

Damages and punitive judgements seem unlikely, but our good old GIRMA pals will defend this for us and limit the city's actual exposure to $25,000. Isn't it worth $25,000 to get rid of Haddix or at least to tie him up in knots, like he has done to us.?

madmike
madmike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2006
RWM: OMG ONE OF THE BEST POSTS I HAVE EVER READ

Excellent and succinct recap of the events up to this point. It could accurately have started with

"Mayor Haddix, suffering from an extreme case of diarrhea of the mouth, makes disparaging statement about former Mayor in email. Said former Mayor asks for a simple public apology, which Haddix refuses to offer which would have ended this matter then and there. The refusal results in lawsuit against Haddix for libel , but should have included 'stupidity' but unfortunately, his counsel could not find where sheer ignorance is a violation of either criminal or civil law.
Former Mayor and now plaintiff does everything possible legal and otherwise to insure lawsuit is one of a personal nature so as to not burden the taxpayers with the costs of defending the lawsuit. Haddix hires his own attorney, makes his own settlement which includes $3000 cash and the stipulation requiring the aforementioned public apology. Now with the lawsuit complete, Haddix puts a butter knife into his inverted piggy bank and realizes his entire asset is $13.72 plus a secret code ring and a full set of Power Ranger action cards.
At this juncture he decides that the taxpayers must pay for the lawsuit settlement and the costs of his attorney and tries to slide it into the city expenses hoping no one notices. When council catches the the Mayor's fat paw in the cookie jar, he makes not one, not two, but three attempts to get GIRMA to approve this as a rightful cost under the indemnification code each time changing the story here and there to make it palatable for GIRMA officials. Finally, realizing that the $25K deductible means that for practical purposes, they won't have to spend a penny and the entire amount would have to be paid by the taxpayers of PTC, GIRMA throws up their hands and approves the amount as a valid city expense. The entire GIRMA staff then goes out and has celebratory drinks, probably somehow billed back to PTC, hoping they never have to deal with this ignorant gadfly, the esteemed Mayor of Peachtree City, ever again."

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
RWM: A better solution

First, Haddix's term ends next year, not in 2 years. It's only a little more than a year from now :)

Second, restore his damn salary and be done with this BS. Council never should have done the backdoor approach they have taken and there's no way in hell it will stand up when challenged. Can you imagine the even more dysfunctional Commissions and City Councils like an East Point if this action was allowed to stand? "Oh, you voted against the majority this meeting, your pay is docked 50% for the next 3 months!" Or, "hey, everyone voted the same so we all give ourselves a 10% bonus this month!"

You can't start re-writing the City Charter however it suits you at the moment, which is exactly what the other 4 did. That is very well engrained into the law and I question why Ted Meeker supposedly told them it was OK to proceed. It's not. I can appreciate their burning disgust with the Mayor and all of his BS, but what they did is more a race to the bottom than anything else. Wise up already, Council. Plenty of other ways to deal with Haddix than going outside the realm of common sense or the law. You already have him outvoted 4-1 and you can simply ignore all of his attacks and crap here and in the newspaper because the only thing he can do right now is rent space in your head. Don't make Don a martyr and don't make the taxpayers go through a whole lot of garbage that costs more money and benefits absolutely no one.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Online
Joined: 04/23/2007
NUK_1 - My counsel

looked at this issue and you are dead on, there is no way. Cal is absolutely right on his analysis. We have to wait until the next election.

If Mr. Haddix doesn't want to be totally humiliated he should just decide not to run again for anything within Fayette County. Or he could do the honorable thing and just resign.... based on his character traits, I am not holding my breath on this. As I have said before, I would be delighted to help him move somewhere where he is an political unknown.

In the meantime, we wait and hope that he doesn't cost us more money.

ptctaxpayer
ptctaxpayer's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/23/2005
Morgan solution--- spot on correct

Most times I disagree with you Morgan. You got an end result which is usually screw [INSERT NAME OF NON-CLIQUE MEMBER YOU DON'T LIKE]. Then you come up with a dumb ass scenario to back it up.

However you ain't dumb. Let's let the insurance company handle it. We'll pay $25,000-- so what-- and we will get (1) the truth of all this and (2) a great show.

GIRMA caused the problem. Haddix told the City Attorney (hello guys) exactly what he was doing. Numerous other employees knew. Mayor Lenox didn't tell anybody when he gave away a free road and nobody cared about that. Here Haddix told the City Attorney. If Haddix is in a boat, the Attorney ought to be in there rowing with him.

GIRMA should have defended Haddix in the first place. The only reason they changed their mind is that Haddix settled the case for less than the deductible.

Let GIRMA defend this mess. I'm betting on Bowers. Not because he's good or honorable. Only because his minions and lawyers checked it out and agree with Cal Beverly--- Imker's big mouth got the City in trouble and Bowers is confident he'll get attorneys fees.

All right, Morgan----- I'll give ya this one. Let the insurance company sit in their own mess.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Thank you guys. I'm 4 for 4 on this one

unless someone else checks in.

But really, how can anyone disagree with my troll removal project? $25k to dump the mayor? Why not?

And why knuckle under to his BS? Kimmy? Erica? Vanessa? Jarhead?

bringinabroom
bringinabroom's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2010
Look for PTC Council to chicken out

They'll probably pull a Thaxton and say "it isn't worth the money" to stand up and fight.

Anyway-- a year from now we'll get rid of three of them.

What a huge waste of time and taxpayer money this whole thing has been. They oughta be working on the budget.

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
Nuk & Ptctaxpayer

Agree!

Instead of changing the charter, maybe these items can be put in the personnel manual-liability exceptions policy, e-mail policy, internet usage policy.

If you are dump enough to write an insulting e-mail, can that be excluded from liability coverage?

Tighten up so it doesn't happen again.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
A guess would be

that The Citizen had an election to cover, late into the evening Tuesday and/or they had already gone to print.

americanpatriots
americanpatriots's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/05/2010
What a waste of taxpayer's money

This nonsense will wind up costing us a pile of money just like the Steve Rapson debacle did a few years ago. That fiasco cost us well over $30,000 dollars and this one will certainly eclipse the $10,000 that is at issue.

If Haddix wins, and I certainly think he will because he has retained one of the best attorneys in the state, we will have wasted a lot of money over something the council should never have done anyway.

Sometimes,it is best to retreat! Ego's need to be put aside in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Jim Richter

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
americanpatriot

A correction here. The 30k figure that was given initially at a Council meeting was done in error, according to a post on The Citizen later by Betsy Tyler. She issued a correction stating that city records are not available to look up the amount of the Rapson issue.

Bostonian212
Bostonian212's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/24/2012
Law Suit Dropped

Did I miss the headline somewhere? Tuesday evening the law suit against the Mayor was dropped. Did the paper forget to publish this news?

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Bostonian, lawsuit & ethics complaint

You shouldn't confuse the last two.

pumpkin
pumpkin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/19/2009
MR. MAYOR I AM SO PROUD OF YOU

i thought this saga was winding down but by golly I think "the best is yet to come". I have no doubts Mayor your case will be upheld in court and I am so proud of the fact you are going to "stand your ground". I feel certain it has nothing to do with the "dollars" but more the "sense". Though another blow for the city in money, this group has brought it on themselves which will cost us "the rest of the citizens". I pray these jack legs have to pay personally on this one too, as these blow hard trouble makers should find out more before going off half cocked.

I'll be watching mayor and as stated many times, although I have not agreed with all of your decisions, I know you work hard and truly believe in supporting and looking out for our city to make it a better place to live.

You Go Mayor Make Em Bite The Dirt.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Online
Joined: 04/23/2007
See folks

I predicted his wife would post on his behalf!

Citizen_Steve
Citizen_Steve's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/20/2005
When will the insanity end?

When will the insanity end? Will this mayor and council ever work together in good faith and with civility? How can we unwind this mess?

For starers they should shoulder the blame for their actions, apologize to those they've harmed, and work to repair their damaged relationships. Here's a list of apologies that are in order; no doubt there are many more that should be included.

  • Haddix should apologize to Logsdon about the ‘part drunk’ comment. (It was a disparaging comment about Logsdon’s character, and that’s not acceptable in his position)
  • Whoever improperly recruited and/or inaccurately set Joey Grisham’s expectations about his new job as PTC’s Economic Development Coordinator should apologize to him and the city staff.
  • Mrs. Haddix should apologize to Joey Grisham for welcoming him into his new job by saying she hoped his tenure was short-lived.
  • Joey Grisham should apologize to mayor Haddix for leaking his email to Logsden, in a supposed act of revenge.
  • Haddix should apologize to city council and staff for not being up front about his reimbursement for legal fees involved in the Logsdon suit.
  • City council should apologize to Haddix for overreacting and docking his pay in order to recoup the reimbursement. Haddix should not accept the apology but instead take full responsibility for the situation, indicating it was his pigheadedness that caused all of this.
  • Haddix should apologize to city council for suing them over his docked pay.
  • Haddix and city council should apologize to Ted Meeker and other city staff for abusing their resourcefulness by causing them to waste time on such petty issues.
  • Haddix should reimburse the city for the cost of his reimbursement.

Steve

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Online
Joined: 07/23/2012
Kumbaya

I doubt any of the people involved will be sitting around the campfire singing and holding hands. Too much animosity going on around here. In my humble opinion this is due to the lack of leadership coming from the top. Mayor Haddix should have never had sent the email. Once he did, he had the opportunity to appologize, but chose not to. Eventually he was forced to anyway and did in a half ... letter published in this paper.

Had the mayor followed proper protocol and had his attorney sent all of the information and notify council of his intent to claim that he was going to claim this was city business than we could have utilized our city attorney at a lower cost. In my mind, the mayor has should take full responsibility. Had another city employee done this they woul have been rightfully fired.

First off, I think the mayor should pay the whole amount based on the bonehead comment. He did however send this off the city computer, but he also failed to follow the rules or was diligent in checking that his lawyer sent all of the attachments needed to the insurance carrier.

Had he notified council that he was going to claim immunity and had he sent the required documents the first time, we would have spent about 10 hrs of time. Those 10 hrs can be paid by the city. The remainder by the honorable mayor himself.

Everyone seems to forget that leadership starts at the top. Someone who is deceptive is not a leader.

rolling stone
rolling stone's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/08/2012
PTC council in woderland

This pay cut episode reminds me of advice that I received as a young parent: Do not discipline a child with a method that is harder on you than it is on the child. Under the more-to-come heading we may see: the council's slanderous remarks against the mayor come back to bite them on the buttocks. I believe that opening is big enough to carry a ladder through sideways.

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
rolling stone

Simple yet effective analogy. Good one.

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
Larry Sussberg

Who is paying for this high priced lawyer? or is this contingency case for a lawyer to make a name for himself?

What has happened to the concept of "public service".

A mayor suing his own city over a few thousand dollar salary.

We know that city council had good documented reason to cut the salary, we can assume that it is supported with legal advice and legal precedence.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Larry

The mayor is getting some very good legal advice on the citizens dime, and as an opportunist he is going to milk it for all he can. What does he have to lose? He sues, we pay, he wins. He realizes that he cannot win a reelection campaign so he is intent upon milking the city for all he can get.

Supporting this dubious little man is a most embarrassing mistake that I and many others have long regretted.

The man can't define public service.

madmike
madmike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2006
Mr. King... one point of disagreement

I think you are mistaken that Haddix thinks he cannot win his re-election bid. In contrast, he now believes without a doubt that he will win as all his critics have been proven wrong. In his own mind, he is a hero in the hearts of almost every citizen except for the few detractors on this blog. And we my friend, are just too ignorant to understand it all.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Mike

I respect your view, but, my friend, can anyone be so stupid?

I shouldn't have to ask.

ptctaxpayer
ptctaxpayer's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/23/2005
Nah, Larry, the decision to

Nah, Larry, the decision to cut the salary was a half-assed "We're gonna do it because we can" decision==== kinda like you in your former commission role. Who's paying Bowers the lawyer? Not Haddix. Bowers thinks he's got a winner and he's "gonna git me some". This will be fun to watch. Nobody ever stands up to City Hall. This is gonna be good !

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Bowers probably does have a winner

meaning the case, certainly not the client. He's given city council 30 days to reverse themselves. They can safely discuss this in executive session which might be awkward if Haddix refuse to leave the room, but aside from that they are almost certain to come back and say"Upon further review, blah, blah, blah....." and cave completely.

Too bad, but at least Haddix is impotent politically so the other 4 run the city until he goes away. He might actually resign after he realizes all he does at meetings is lead the pledge of allegiance.

MajorMike
MajorMike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2005
mudcat - correct on executive session

Executive session is pretty much where it has to be discussed and if Mayor Haddix refuses to leave...... Boy, would I love to be a fly on the wall for that one. I really think that the only big questions remaining are going to be how much "payback" the Mayor wants to inflict and what the legal fees are going to be.

All of that said, I would think that the Mayor pro tem could call an executive session if the Mayor is "unavailable" and she/he/it had a plurality present.

Crow is now on the menu at City Hall!

madmike
madmike's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/04/2006
Mudcat... and the prayer

Reverend Donnie leads us in prayer at the council meetings. Now bow down.

I think this whole Bowers thing could be a bluff.. no way the Mayor has the money for a retainer and I doubt someone with the stature of Bowers is going to risk not getting paid or do this pro-bono. I just don't see it.
Either way, I don't see this as a shut and closed "win" for Haddix. The letter certainly reads that way, but I am sure Donnie believes that Council will buckle to avoid the costs. If they don't (this may be where they draw the line in the sand) we shall see how strong of a case Haddix actually has, if he and Bowers don't buckle themselves.
By the way, since when was the financial cost of justice used as an argument not to pursue it?

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
Ah, Mikey you hear of it all the time. Cases are dropped,

monies paid, to avoid the expense of a long trial. It is done federally, at the state level and also at the local level. Check it out.

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Bowers likes publicity

and as someone noted this may be the first time ever an elected body voted to dock an elected official's pay, so he may see himself swimming in TV lights and being asked to comment on talk shows. Not sure even that makes up for the repulsive little client, but to each his own.

Or he may be going for big bucks on a contingency basis, usually 33%, but he'll take advantage of Haddix or just make him pay a troll add-on fee and get his take up to 50%. Of course he has to create some punitive damages because 50% of $10 or 12,000 is not a big enough payday. My guess is he will ask for $100,000 in damages, try to get the 4 councilpeople personally on the suit and hope they do draw the line in the sand. Then Donnie and Mike split $100k, Donnie gets his salary back and that costs the city $25k and the insurance company $75k.

It doesn't take too much imagination to see how Haddix likes his chances and hopes for the big payday, with absolutely no thoughts of the taxpayers. Can't see council letting that go forward because if they do and lose, they all lose at reelection time. And worst of all, much more so than the money, Haddix may even win reelection if he gets someone professional to spin his "courageous battle" into a decent campaign - which he could afford to hire with his $50k.

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
Oh, Mudcat how I wish I had your crystal ball. You are the most

'informed' person I have ever seen/heard. You have the answers to everything, except you are usually wrong. You spew so much venom on here. You must be a very unhappy person, or else you need a hobby--or I should say another hobby. Or could it be that you are still smarting that your sweetie is no longer among the movers and shakers? Like I suggest to Morgan, if you are so up on how things should be done, why do you not run for office, or like Morgan is the idea of two meetings a week too taxing? So much easier to sit back and constantly attack others. Now Mike Bowers is your target. Unless it is one of your clique, no one is good enough for any office--we see that time after time when you attack anyone who isn't your chosen candidate. And as usual, you are wrong. If you do not wish to run for office then at least have the good grace to stop your bashing of all the candidates you deem 'unworthy'.

mudcat
mudcat's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/26/2005
Bowers is ACTUALLY attacking us, MYTMITE. Might win.

The comment about the taxpayers using their already limited resources means that he knows we are the ones that will ultimately pay. I think Mr. Bowers is a fine man, was a good attorney general and I wish he were on our side of this instead of the side of Haddix. Can't imagine why he's teaming up with Dumbo, but he is.

I'm happy with Nuk1, Randy, MadMike, Gym, Spyglass, Morgan, even you. Don't have a clique, but I don't think anyone does, except maybe in high school.

99.99% of the people in this county don't run for office, so I'm in good company. I do think it would be better if we had better (meaning more informed) people running for office and that the election process could proceed without negative attacks like we saw in the last one. That was horrible and practically everything I said was a direct response to someone's misbehavior or simply a parody of how the dimmest bloggers among us were acting. I certainly won't apologize or modify my view of Haddix or Brown. Neither has done much for city or county except grandstand and self-promote. I have watched a lot of proceedings on city council wondering how things would be under Mayor Plunkett. Answer - better than now and certainly more good than bad. Next year we will have Commission Chairman Brown to observe.

Back to the facts, Mr. Bowers has laid down his gauntlet or gantlet at the feet of city council and they have 30 days to do something. Of course they could do nothing, but I think it would be irresponsible if they didn't at least discuss it. Then all the other stuff will run through their minds, but even I could not predict which factors will weigh the most in their decision to cave, but cave they will.

BTW, if I had run for city council and won (highly unlikely given my background) I would do everything I could to convince the others to fight the Bowers/Haddix threat without regard to cost. I feel the same way about district voting and would be 10 times as aggressive as Bearden is on closing schools and shedding teachers, should I have been elected to either of those groups. In other words, I would not be popular, nor appreciated.

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
Mudcat, I would imagine Mr. Bowers took the case because he is

an attorney and that is what attorneys do. Someone came to him and asked him to take the case and he evidently thought it had merit, ergo, he took the case. At least, that is what I would guess happened. Mr. Bowers and I did not happen to be at the recycling station at the same time so I did not have the opportunity to ask him.

I used the term 'clique' knowing exactly what the meaning signified. There are some on this site who act like they are still in high school. I don't know how anyone decides to run for public office in this town. The minute someone puts their name out there, the same group starts tearing them down--unless they are their chosen ones. I am really surprised that there haven't been other lawsuits since some of the things often said are pretty close to being libelous while some are just downright snarky. For instance, your constant jabs again someone's faith. I don't know if you are a Christian, Agnostic, Athesist or Muslim and honestly I don't care. One thing I do know is that I would never make cutting remarks about your religion. I know you think you are being funny when you make all your nasty remarks but from other posts on here I see others also feel you overstep the boundaries of good taste. I think you have attained the status you mention without even having to be elected to any post.

SPQR
SPQR's picture
Online
Joined: 12/15/2007
MYTMITE

Congrats. I've been waiting for someone to come right out and say high school.

pumpkin
pumpkin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/19/2009
"ASSUME"

there you go Larry. More of the same ole same ole. This group is worse than "gossip girls, gossipy ole hens, and the sweet ole christian ladies of the church".

Wake up, it's been a "pissin" contest from the beginning.

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2009
Pumpkin

How about focusing on the real issues as to what caused this situation in the first place and how it was handled/mis handled by the mayor...
Meanwhile, you continue to pay for it.

sad

Recent Comments