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No new ruling in
Stockbridge DDA suit


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

  The latest courtroom session in the ongoing dispute between the city of Stockbridge and its Downtown Development Authority saw a sizeable crowd of participants but no new rulings.

  More than a dozen attorneys met in Henry County Superior Court Aug. 7, mostly because of hearings regarding legal action taken by Stockbridge against more than 20 different defendants, including various individuals and organizations who were participants in real estate transactions involving city and/or DDA property.

  Attorneys repeatedly argued that many of the transactions cannot be reversed and, in some cases, certain principals in various real estate deals are now deceased.

  A motion to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for Aug. 26. The legal wrangling began in January, when the city reversed virtually every action taken in 2013 by the prior administration regarding the DDA, claiming it was constituted improperly and was legally void. The city issued a cease-and-desist order to the DDA after it became clear that the DDA was continuing in a business-as-usual manner.

  In February the DDA filed a court action “to determine the answers to some legal questions,” as DDA chairman J.T. Williams stated at the time. Shortly after that, the city filed its suit naming the multiple defendants.

  A motion by the DDA for summary judgment was denied by Judge Wade Crumbley in late June but was refiled July 2, addressing the issues Crumbley identified in his previous ruling.

That motion was not ruled upon last week, but argument for several summary judgment motions were heard, Williams said Friday.

  The judge made no rulings but said he would take everything under advisement and rule at a later time. No specific timetable was set for such rulings.

  Williams reiterated his stance that the ongoing court proceedings have already cost Stockbridge numerous jobs. He said that potential companies looking into relocation here have already passed on Stockbridge because of the legal situation.



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