Kautz v. PowellAnnotate this Case
Kelly Kautz, the mayor of Snellville, filed a declaratory action against the members of the Snellville city council, seeking a declaration that she, as mayor, had sole authority to terminate the employment of the city attorney. The trial court ruled against her, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the city council, rather than the mayor, retained the sole power to remove the city attorney. The Supreme Court reversed, finding in the Snellville city charter that "[t]he mayor shall appoint the city attorney, together with such assistant city attorneys as may be authorized, and shall provide for the payment of such attorney or attorneys for services rendered to the city. [. . .] Once the mayor has fulfilled his or her duty to appoint a city attorney, the city attorney can thereafter serve for an indefinite time, as it is undisputed in this case that there is nothing in the Snellville city charter to restrict the city attorney's appointment to office, and the city attorney's term of office is not otherwise prescribed by law." The Court of Appeals erred in concluding otherwise.