PTC considers controversial policy revamp

The Peachtree City Council on Thursday night will consider updating its policy concerning legal liability against its officials and employees.

Each year, the City Council adopts a policy that defends and pays judgments for acts or omissions performed or neglected to be performed in their association with the city. This year’s revision provides coverage if a city official has been defamed in a public media outlet.

Additionally, the revision allows the city to seek reimbursement for costs in the successful pursuit of a defamation ruling from the party or parties committing the defamation.

The new section of the ordinance reads:

“The City of Peachtree City shall fund legal action on the part of any elected official, appointed official, or employee, with exception of officials of authorities, which shall be responsible for their respective boards and employees, who has been defamed in a public media outlet (television, newspaper, social media, or other outlet), or otherwise disseminated to the public so as to present a valid claim for defamation under Georgia law.

“Legal counsel shall be selected by the defamed individual requesting representation and be reimbursed by the City at a rate not to exceed the approved hourly rate of the City Attorney plus 20 percent. Further, in the event that a defamation suit is settled in the City’s favor, the City shall seek reimbursement for the actual legal costs incurred in successful pursuit of the defamation ruling by the person or persons committing the defamation.”

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