County officials file second complaint against Columbus mayor - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

County officials file second complaint against Columbus mayor

Mayor Tomlinson (Source: WTVM) Mayor Tomlinson (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Another complaint was filed against the mayor of Columbus.

According to court filings, Muscogee County Marshal Greg Countrymen and Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Bishop filed a second complaint in response to the proposed city budget.

The mayor has proposed moving at least five positions from the Marshal's office to the Columbus Police Department in order to provide duplicate services, but the motion claims that they are not duplicate services and studies have proven it.

The two officials released a statement with the new complaints filed. The full statement reads as follows: 

Today we filed an Amended Complaint in our pending litigation against the City et al and a Motion for Mandamus Relief.

This action was necessitated solely by Mayor Tomlinson's refusal to follow the

Columbus City Charter on budget submissions for Fiscal Year 2016. Section 8-105 of the Charter in plain and unequivocal language requires the Mayor to submit our budgets as submitted to her. That would then allow us to discuss same, if necessary, with Columbus Council.

We are asking Judge Fuller to require Mayor Tomlinson to follow the Charter as she has sworn to do and to discontinue her efforts to circumvent the law.

We are profoundly disappointed that the Mayor, who is a lawyer and also familiar with this law, would so callously disregard it yet again as she did for the Fiscal Year 2015. Her conscious disregard for the plain law is causing a waste of taxpayer dollars in legal fees and hampering the efforts of law enforcement at a time when crime in Columbus is at an all-time high under her watch.

The motion also says the city has violated their duties, obligations and commitments. You can see the complaints filed in full by clicking here. You can read the motion of mandamus by clicking here

This is the response from Mayor Tomlinson concerning the complaint:

The Marshal does not submit a budget, he submits "budget requests," as the Charter clearly states. Those requests are considered and incorporated into an overall balanced budget of the Columbus Consolidated Government. In no event is any department or elected official required to get what they ask for. The Charter and state law are clear on this point. The Mayor's proposed budget, together with the Marshal's requests, are provided for Council's review and consideration. Council will be make the decision as to what is ultimately in the approved budget. To the extent the Marshal contends otherwise, he is in error and that matter is fully before the court.

As to the duplicative services issues raised, the Mayor's Recommended Budget Letter sets forth the years long inquiry and information on which the proposals for reallocation of duplicative funding are made. Any law enforcement capacity the Municipal Marshal has emanates from the limited jurisdiction of the Municipal Court and is ancillary to the chief law enforcement agency of this county - the Columbus Police Department. The Columbus Consolidated Government is not obligated to fund three SWAT Teams, three Tactical Operations units, three Traffic Enforcement squads, or three criminal investigative units. The law enforcement resources we have need to be directed primarily to our chief law enforcement agency for the most effect and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

To view the motion document please click here.

Bishop told News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles that she did not sign any legal documentation toward a second motion on Friday, and was "shocked" to see her name associated with this recent legal paperwork.

Stay tuned to WTVM.com for more information. 

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