Judge in Columbus city lawsuits steps down

Judge in Columbus city lawsuits steps down

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A big surprise occurred Friday morning in a legal battle against the city of Columbus and its top leaders.

Sheriff John Darr, Marshal Greg Countrymen, Superior Court Clerk Linda Pierce and Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop filed the lawsuits two years ago for receiving what they call inadequate budgets.

Plaintiff attorney Charlie Miller says Judge Hilton Fuller is stepping down due to personal reasons.

Miller released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

Judge Fuller informed all counsel that he was recusing himself from all three cases due to personal family obligations. Any attempt to tie or imply a connection with the motion in the Darr case is despicable and erroneous on its face as such motion had no effect on the other Plaintiffs' cases. We will miss Judge Fuller's wisdom and fairness and wish him and his family well.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson also released a statement regarding Judge Hilton stepping down:

While we are still stunned by the circumstances that have brought us to this point, the city is committed to the prompt conclusion of these lawsuits and the validation of our budget process so that we never have to travel down this unproductive and costly path again.

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