Dunwoody filed a lawsuit this week against DeKalb County alleging that the county owes it more than $7 million for Brook Run park. The City sued for the balance of the $11.5 million county voters approved for the park in a 2005 bond referendum.
Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’
After nearly five years and $2 million spent in legal fees, a jury awarded the tiny north Fulton County town only $45,000 in its battle against upstream developers over silt in its lake. Mountain Park had sought upwards of $3.8 million in damages, but the jury heard evidence that silt had long been a decades-long problem complained about by the City. The jury refused to award one cent towards attorney’s fees.
Mayor Jim Still had this to say on the city’s website:
The jury in the Lakes litigation trial found two out of four defendants guilty of Clean Water Act violations but did not determine to award the amount the City of Mountain Park was requesting. $45,000.00 was the amount of damages awarded the city. The Judge will, in the coming weeks, also be considering what additional remedies and penalties to award against the Defendants found to have violated the Clean Water Act. The City Council will be considering this outcome and a town hall meeting will be held to review the verdict.
The City of Mountain Park has spent $2 million – more than four times its annual budget – in legal fees fighting upstream developers over silt and sediment in the city’s lakes and wetlands due to development in Roswell. The north Fulton County city of just over 500 people has waged a federal lawsuit war against the developers since 2005.
The fight headed to trial last and is expected to last two weeks and undoubtedly cost the little city more money in legal fees. The City has up on its website a summary of the first day of trial and directions to the courthouse.
DeKalb County has already paid $32,000 to former Governor Roy Barnes in connection with the newly created city of Dunwoody. The County will decide on April 14 whether to plow ahead with a lawsuit against Dunwoody challenging the legality of last year’s incorporation vote.
The AJC learned through an open records request that the County spent nearly half a million dollars in outside attorneys fees to defend the County in court or acted as plaintiff’s counsel on high-profile cases.
For instance, neither side has backed down in a nine-year fight between DeKalb and four of its cities. The case involves the county’s penny on the dollar homestead option sales and use tax. City officials say their residents pay the tax but get no benefit. The fight has rumbled through Georgia’s Supreme Court three times, most recently last year, when the court ruled against DeKalb.
The disputed amount is over $9 million. Meanwhile, the legal bills are mounting. DeKalb spent nearly $60,000 on the case last year alone.
“The city of Decatur itself has paid nearly a million dollars since we started this,” Mayor Bill Floyd said. “I would bet they’ve spent twice that.”
Regarding Dunwoody, County Commissioner Lee May contends DeKalb has gotten a raw deal from the new city.
“The boundaries of what was incorporated is costing us big time,” he said. “And it’s not fair.”
May said he would also like to appeal this month’s decision in Fulton over the Dunwoody sales tax proceeds. “I would like to just fight to the end until there are no options,” he said.
In a sixth deferral, the DeKalb County Commission voted 7-0 to again to table the decision on whether to a lawsuit challenging the incorporation of Dunwoody, deferring a decision on whether to sue until April 14. Commissioners, spurred by the loss of as much as $16 million in tax revenue to the new city, hired former Gov. Roy Barnes to draft a legal challenge under federal voting rights laws that protect racial minority voters.
Commissioner Lee May filed the legislation authorizing the suit in May.
May has said legal grounds for a lawsuit could range from lack of racial representation at the polls to the distribution of funds from business and property taxes.