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Mayor slams Council

[Editor’s note: The following is a statement read by the mayor to the City Council Jan. 10. He provided a copy to news media.]

When the Council members voted to settle the legal actions against them they said they didn’t want to cost the taxpayers any more money even though they could have won. That is a false claim. They could not have won. To date, I have said nothing, waiting for the legal costs to be reported. Tonight, costs are in the packet and it is my turn to make a statement.

On page 26, on the Litigation Services page, you see a charge by Henderson and Hundley for $2,445.00 reported as being for Haddix vs. City Hall. I questioned Staff on this being the actual total of new changes on this issue, as it had to be higher. The records given to me show a much higher total.

From August through November Laurel Henderson billed the City for $5,517.12, all generated by the Council members from April, 2011, through November, 2012, the legal fees totaled $10,467.12. Add in the GIRMA restitution giving a grand total of $20,433.52

So, who is responsible for those expenses?

When the Council members found out about the lawsuit filed by Harold Logsdon against me, at the same time I found out, they declared me guilty of slander and libel and told the City Attorney I was not to be indemnified. They did so solely upon the word of Harold Logsdon, never asking anyone else who was party to matter about the truth of the accusation. A political decision, not a legal one.

As GIRMA later stated, that forced me to hire my own lawyer, which was a justifiable expense under my personal GIRMA coverage that I was fully entitled to. GIRMA also stated there was mishandling of the matter initially. They stated I should have had their representation from day one. That, contrary to the lawsuit, I did act as Mayor fully within the duties of my office.

Even with the ruling by GIRMA, the Council members continued to declare me guilty of slander and libel. They also added accusations of stealing for the taxpayers. They did so on the dais, in the newspapers and even on TV. They appealed to GIRMA to reverse their decision and take back the money, which GIRMA refused to do.

When I threatened legal action, if they reduced my salary, Councilman Imker said I didn’t have the money to sue them. The others backed him. They proceeded to reduce my salary, thinking I had no recourse against them.

But, I did hire a lawyer. They were legally threatened with a lawsuit for the salary. A second lawsuit was threatened for slander and liable. They settled and gave me back my salary and were forced to retract their accusations in the Settlement Agreement.

Bottom line here is if the Council members had backed the full and proper handling of this matter at the beginning, the Logsdon lawsuit would have gone away quickly and cheaply, because three foundational claims in the lawsuit would have been refuted on day one.

The lawsuit didn’t end out any kindness of the heart. There were facts laid on the table that caused the dismissal.

The Council members claimed I had to ask their permission to file with GIRMA. That was a false claim and admitted to in the Agenda Item on the ordinance requiring notification of Council of any lawsuit. No permission was ever needed.

The Council members claimed they had to authorize payment of a bill from GIRMA. Again, a false claim admitted to during the Agenda Item.

The Council members claimed they had to authorize reimbursement to me by GIRMA. Yet another false claim admitted to during the Agenda Item.

The Council members claimed they had the authority to reduce my salary via the Budget. And again, another false claim so proven by a court ordering a Fayette County judge’s salary, with back pay, be restored. The argument for taking his salary was the same as for taking mine.

The Council members claimed I committed libel and slander. In fact, they had libeled and slandered me over a two year period and had to retract their accusations in the Settlement Agreement.

The Council members claimed City indemnification could not be given for accusations of libel and slander. Yet, they gave themselves indemnification when accused of committing libel and slander.

The Council members claimed it required a Council vote to give indemnification. Yet, they gave themselves indemnification without a vote.

The Council members claimed it required a Council vote to hire a lawyer. Yet they hired a lawyer without a vote.

I was innocent of all charges. The Council members broke laws, made false legal claims and committed the very acts, benefiting themselves, they said it was illegal for me to do.

The cost for this whole circus is the responsibility of the Council members and no one else. If they had followed the law and done the right thing, this would have been over quickly in 2011.

That is my statement on this matter. After two years of accusations, it is my turn to set the record straight.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.



Mike King's picture

....Who was the idiot who made the claim to a city employee via e-mail that former Mayor Logsdon came to meetings "part drunk"?

The answer to that simple question has more relevance than your entire diatribe.

The point you might be missing is that Mayor Haddix is relying that many PTC voters are not engaged in the issues and he is trying to shift the conversation away from what he has done by blaming the city council. This is what he does over and over again.

You are seeing his positioning for the next campaign for November 2013 election.

Some citizens feel he did nothing wrong, others think he will garner Sympathy votes and others, not involved, will hear the snipets, read a post not knowing all the details and blame city council instead of him. This is what he is relying on. As Obama blames Congress, Haddix blames City Council.

Today there are citizens who believe that if the insurance company paid why is council victimizing him. Exactly his presentation and hope for re-election.

Citizens forget or don't know that he unprofessionally attacked the previous mayor in an undignified email resulting in a "private" lawsuit. Citizens do not realize or remember that GIRMA denied his claim twice and on the 3rd attempt when he got the city attorney to write the letter, GIRMA agreed to pay on a techniciality that his email was written on official PTC email. Citizens ignore that the Mayor never informed city council of his requests for reimbursement or that he on the 3rd attempt he was using the city attorney at an added expense to the city.

PTC has an email policy that every employee is required to follow but mayor and council are not required. His email under this policy would be a violation. Finally, GIRMA paid knowing that they would not have an out-of-pocket expense since it was below their deductible, so the citizens got stuck with the bill.

Haddix's opponents need to prepare for this tactic and stay focused on the issues of his failed administration. Economic development is the perfect topic since he has failed repeatedly and prevented economic development against the majority vote. He destroyed any chance of economic development over 3 of his 4 years based upon his minority viewpoint and agenda. City council is elected at large, that mandates a majority rule. He states he will fight for what he believes, but in many cases he has interfered with majority rule, hence our government. Perfect example is what he did to run off Joey Grisham.

This is why a PAC is needed! To stop these 1/2 half truths and lies.

To tell you the truth, I have about had it with all city council. With this mayor were just waiting for the next mistake to occur. The other council members haven't done much lately either. Imker and than the other three pile on a volunteer who had a difference of opinion and didn't seem to have the cajones to even discuss their differences before embarrassing him. Then today, we get a nice agenda from George yet, he too feels the need to slip a couple quips at the mayor.

Not one of our present council members seems to understand that we citizens are looking for someone to take the ball and lead the city with a little class and dignity.

We have a lot of fine people in this great city. We need a leader to step forth and bring some leadership, communication, and harmony to council.

And Pumpkin, before you chime in with your capital letters, I do volunteer my time. Youth sports (year round), scouts, and civic club. I will eventually run for public office, but right now my first responsibility is my wife and young kids.

pandora's picture

All five share the blame at this point.

You should run for public office soon!

Thank you for the comment on the nice agenda.

The slip was merely meant to point out how important this election is to our business community. I apologize if I came off to harsh.

Ha Ha Ha Ha

you seemed to always have the answers but never ready and able to put the big boy pants on. I hope I am around enough years to actually see you do something.

NUK_1's picture

You're a real gem. You ask your God/idol Haddix about getting a job and then cast aspersions on everyone else. Really.

My big boy pants are on. I just choose to help my special needs child first. Hope that meets with your approval.

Is it not enough for you that I also work, coach youth sports, involved in scouts, involved in a civic group and I was recently recruited by two Atlanta charities and i am now assisting for free with their new endeavors.

I might not be as bright or as good as your god (the mayor), but I think I am a decent person who has his priorities straight.

God bless

that testimoney for yourself, heard loud and clear. Perhaps if you made some helpful suggestions or ask if our Mayor would consider a point rather than your hateful sarcasm in your truly mean postings, you might be heard. When is the last time you requested a face to face meeting with the Mayor? Perhaps if you curley,moe,robert and larry would present yourselves as adults and true concerned citizens, you could help our Mayor. I cannot speak for him but make the effort, request a meeting at city hall, go in like men, perhaps volunteer an hour or so each week to discuss the issues and your vision. Like you claim to be, our Mayor is a good man. As I have stated before, I have not always agreed with him but I have ask questions.

Pumpkin, have you ever tried reasoning with a tired 2 year old? It usually doesn't go well. That's what it feels like when one tries to have a conversation to discuss differences in opinion with the mayor. He flops on the floor, kicking away, until you see that he is not listening. So you walk away until he is left alone in the room screaming at no one.

No one is asking for perfection. When I screw up at work, I dust myself off, go see the boss, appologize for the mistake, and explain how I will do better next time. Show me one time that the mayor ever recognized a fault and addressed it? He had a great opportunity with the former mayor, but choose to fight it, and then lost causing financial loss himself and to the city, plus wasting years fighting about it in the process.

The mayor lost my confidence a long time ago. Three items come to mind and all are related to when he opens his mouth. 1. Sending an email stating that a former mayor was part drunk. 2. Opening his mouth to the developer wanting to bring in affordable housing for those over a certain age. 3. Always wanting to argue.

In my 20 plus years in business one thing I have learned is that successful people communicate well. This is one thing I have to improve myself. But good leaders clearly explain their position, they quietly listen to others, and they ask their detractors questions until both sides come to a final decision without anyone losing face. I am still waiting to discover one situation where the mayor worked with others and didn't publicly criticize the person when he didn't get what he wanted.

When I voted for the man 3 years ago, I thought I was voting for someone who knew how to lead. Like Mr. Thompson stated, we didn't vote for someone we thought needed a committee for every issue. We voted for someone who we thought would research the issues and come to the table with suggestions to solve problems such as the budget.

The city desperately needs infrastructure improvements. This need is not new. Is it his fault that it has been put on the back burner for years? No. But I find his charade calling this tax something else an insult to my intelligence. He does this because he wants to be known as the person who didn't vote for this tax.

My next vote for mayor will be for a person who shows me that they can get a diverse group of people together and get them working as a team for the betterment of the city and who will clearly communicate the plan with some decorum and class.

you never address my questions. have you ask for a face to face meeting? We all know where the group meets at the restaurant we wont mention again. Have you really met with our Mayor?

Before a council meeting
Introduced myself and my wife.

Both of us watched the meeting and both came away unimpressed.

My non political wife said with an incredible tone as we left "is he really our mayor?"

Tell me about your community service sweetheart.

I am embarrassed at your continued posting...

You are obviously over our head.

Bless your heart.

Mike King's picture

Your point is well taken. In the realm of economic development Haddix has created an atmosphere that few, if any, outside enterprises would risk the capitol to relocate. One can also say the same for start ups because the decision makers do their homework before considering any locale.
Take for instance your business, you would certainly "test the waters" if you were of a mind to relocate. What Haddix can not fathom is the reality that free enterprise runs this country and not the bureaucrats that congest the process.
With the discord emanating from city hall for the past six years our well water is poisoned, and it will require a new slate of people to return our city to its potential.

In fact 1 of my business neighbors is moving out and another is considering.
The West Side of PTC will suffer by having a Race Trac instead of Kohls, HomeGoods or TJ Max which was proposed.
Those retailers draw customers to support independent retailers not Race Trac.

Lets hope that the West Side does not continue to have so many vacancies!
Sad and un-necessary!

You had your say at the city council meeting last week, why the need to distribute to the media?

1. This whole fiasco would not have occured if you kept your mouth shut.
2. The original lawsuit was sent to you as a private citizen. (Not as Mayor)
3. You were found guilty of liable.
4. GIRMA approved payment only after it was determined that you sent the email while acting as mayor.

Spin this any way you desire. The bottom line is that you were guilty as charged and cost the taxpayers money because you were too arrogant to appologize.

Have you apologized to the citizens?

You flat out do not know when to shut up.

PTC Observer's picture

you in November?

We'll see if you can win on your record and not your mouth, which seems to be in perpetual motion.

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