By Emily Lewy
Judge Hugh Stone became the second judge to rule in Ariemma’s favor that the City of Dahlonega’s efforts to unseat Ariemma from the City Council were unconstitutional.
Judge Stone’s Order reads, “The City is hereby restrained and enjoined from proceeding to remove Petitioner (Ariemma) as a member of the City Council…”
One would hope that city employees and elected officials who had ganged up on Ariemma and then cast aspersions on Judge Alderman following her ruling in favor of Ariemma would be duly humbled by this smack down. Alderman’s ruling left the City wiggle room to appeal. Judge Stone clearly declares that the harassment must stop.
The Court never considered the merits of the City’s allegations against Ariemma. The City Council had no authority to take legal action they attempted. The process was instigated by City Manager Bill Lewis and abetted by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) in an effort to broaden their authority. Hopefully, Judge Stone’s Order will prevent further “bullying” by elected officials throughout the State of Georgia.
The merits of the allegations against Ariemma were previously discussed on this website
The facts were pretty much summed up by the City’s own investigator in her report that City Manager “Lewis had reinterpreted the facts.”
Chalk one up for the people. Limiting the authority of pompous elected officials is always a good thing.
This is a good example of the reform needed in the governance of Lumpkin County. For too long a few individuals have manipulated the levers of power without regard to the rights of citizens to participate in both defining the problems and how to solve them in an open and participatory manner.
Apparently, Johnny has the right to sue for damages. Perhaps the citizens of Dahlonega will take notice when they realize that the frivolous lawsuit started by Bill Lewis and the City Council can come with a price tag.