Ga. Supreme Court: Snellville mayor can appoint, fire city attorney

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ATLANTA — The mayor of Snellville has the authority not only to appoint the city attorney, but also to fire him, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled.

In a unanimous opinion handed down Monday, the high court has reversed decisions by the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Gwinnett County Superior Court. Both courts ruled only the Snellville City Council has the authority under the city charter to fire the city attorney.

Kelly D. Kautz was elected in November 2011 as the first female mayor of Snellville in Gwinnett County. After her election, she told Anthony O. L. Powell, then the city attorney, she intended to appoint a new city attorney.

Kautz appointed a new city attorney, but ultimately re-appointed Powell only to fire him in December 2012.

Kautz sued Powell and four of the five city council members on Jan. 9, 2013. She asked a court to declare that as mayor, she had the sole power to appoint the city attorney and the sole power to terminate him.

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