COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk Linda Pierce and Sheriff John Darr have amended their lawsuits against the City of Columbus.
Pierce's amendment is a notice of dismissal without prejudice, which means she has the right to change the amendment in the future, if they so choose. The document confirms that her attorney William Stone of Blakely, Ga. filed the amendment on Jan. 26, suing the defendants in their individual capacity only.
The initial lawsuit named the 12 defendants, including Mayor Tomlinson and all City Councilors, in both their official and individual capacities.
Stone said he made the move because of a Georgia Supreme Court ruling pertaining to sovereign immunity.
This also allows Judge Fuller to focus on his client's claims since the defendants were claiming to be protected by sovereign immunity in their official capacity, according to Stone.
Click here to view Pierce's amended lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Darr's attorney Kelly Moore filed to have the defendants sued in their official capacity and not individually.
Darr and Pierce are among the four separate department heads who have filed suit against the City of Columbus because they feel like their budgets are not receiving enough consideration. The other department heads are Marshal Greg Countryman Sr. and Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton.
Sheriff Darr claims the mayor and city council overstepped their authority when they took control of the sheriff department's budget for the 2015 fiscal year and cut it by $2 million.
When asked what she thought about these new developments, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson had this to say:
"We think it's a very telling sign because of the magnitude of their voluntary dismissals and we feel the fact that they've taken inconsistent positions show that each, in fact, is meritless," Tomlinson said.
Count on News Leader 9 to continue following these new developments.