Discovery allowed in lawsuit against PTC

A visiting judge has denied an effort by the Peachtree City and the City Council to dismiss them from a lawsuit alleging an open meetings violation.

Peachtree City resident John Dufresne sued the city of Peachtree City, the Water and Sewerage Authority, and the individual members over a meeting that occurred Nov. 5, 2018.

“The essence of this cause of action are allegations that the members of the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority (“WASA”) violated the State’s Open Meeting Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-14- 1. et seq., (“OMA”) during its meeting of November 5, 2018. Prior to 2018, WASA operated under an appointed Board of Directors. However, pursuant to local legislation, the General Assembly amended WASA’s enabling legislation so that the elected members of the Peachtree City Council serve the additional role as the Board of Directors of WASA,” Judge John Carbo wrote in his April 10 order.

“This was a big win for us. The City and Council stay in the case. We wanted the opportunity for discovery to get at the whole truth. We intend to move aggressively and conduct depositions soon,” said Dufresne.

Dufresne’s attorney John Mrosek said the discovery process could take up to nine months.

The city wanted to be dismissed from the case because they maintained it was a WASA meeting that was at the heart of the lawsuit.

In a footnote on the order, Carbo addresses the issue:

“The Court’s ruling is narrowly tailored to address only the issues contained herein. Issues relating to whether the City of Peachtree City or its Council Members can be held liable for the actions of the WASA or its individual members would be more properly addressed by way of Motion for Summary Judgment after the record in this case is developed through discovery.”

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