The Office of the Attorney General of Georgia has given its opinion on the terms of office for the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport Authority (HGRAA).
On August 7, 2013, attorney Thomas F. Richardson, on behalf of the HGRAA, requested the Attorney General’s office to review his opinion that legislation passed during the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly did not alter the terms of the office of members of the HGRAA.
On August 15, 2013, attorney John P. Harrington, on behalf of the Dodge County-Eastman Development Authority (DCEDA) wrote the Attorney General’s office expressing his disagreement with Richardson’s interpretation of the law.
The Attorney General’s office responded with a letter dated October 17, 2013 stating, “…I concur with Mr. Harrington’s interpretation of the Act in that it repealed the term of office provisions for HGRAA members found in prior law. I also agree that, pursuant to basic principles of Georgia law, all HGRAA members serve at the pleasure of the respective appointing authorities and can be removed without notice, even those with unexpired terms of office.
The opinion was sought after Phil Bearden and Dennis Giddens were appointed to replace Jack Burnham and Eddie Driggers, whose terms had not expired, to the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport Authority at a meeting of the Dodge County-Eastman Development Authority on May 13, 2013.
The opinion was sought from the Attorney General’s office because some members of the HGRAA wanted to be sure that those appointments were legal.
Had the legislaters who drafted and put forth these bills done their jobs correclty there would be no room for ambiguity in the law. The fact that one attorney views the appointments as illegal while the local attorney views them as legal is not uncommon in law practice. No one can fault the board for trying to do the right thing and ensure the legal standing of all appointed members. Mr. Greer did the right thing in this instance and the AG has ruled on the matter. Now lets hope the airport board can move forward and focus on the pressing issues that face our airport.
Can't fault the board for doing the right thing. No lets fault the board for forcing the state attorney general to make a decision on this silly try at keeping part of the old 'good old boy' crew in power. On top of that Bobby's little tribunal took it upon themselves to obligate the authority without the approval of the board by hiring the lawyer for this failed attempt. Now that it is clear what can be done somebody show Slye and Clements the door too. Willie Bell needs to get on the city council and recall both Slye and Clements.
Still seems like another $4,600.00 down the drain. Looking at the Attorney General's opinion it also does not look like there was much room for disagreement. Also at the time I think more like three different attorneys thought the appt's were legal. Of Course we don't know what Harrington charged either.
Wasn't there some meeting where Harrington's fees were discussed for the Development authority. I thought he did not charge them. Whether he does or not it seems like he knows what he it talking about and might just be a little community minded too.
Jimmy P should have made it clear as a bell and ensured the bill stated "no term limits for appointees and all apointees serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority." That would have save a whole lot of money, time, and headaches.