Columbus mayor goes against lawsuits at City Council

Columbus City Council happening Tuesday

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus' top leader fires back against allegations she failed to follow the city charter during the city council meeting on Tuesday.

The claims were outlined in on-going lawsuits filed by four elected officials.

The sheriff, marshal, municipal and superior court clerks say mayor Tomlinson had no right to submit reduced budgets to council for their individual offices.

On Tuesday, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson submitted excerpts from the charter and Georgia Law that she says support her position.

Marshal Greg Countryman responded by saying in part quote:

"The Mayor either truly doesn't understand the Charter or is being obtuse. The section she cited in no way affects her duty to incorporate our budget requests. She can decrease departments she has authority over then ask the Council to make changes. She cannot do that to an elective office and must respect Councils authority to set elected officials budgets. Her latest argument demonstrates that she is desperately searching for justification for her actions. Her argument will fail both in the Court and the court of public opinion as its flaw are self obvious."

The mayor had this to say in response: "They are mandated to submit budget requests and the word requests is not defined here, that's what our judges are resourceful that way. But you look it up in the dictionary, and the word request is an ask, its' not a dictate it's not a mandate."

Tomlinson also referred to when the former Mayor Jim Wetherington was in office the reduced budgets were adopted. She referenced this because it was stated that she was the first mayor not to adopt an elected official's total budget.

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