City of College Park v. MartinAnnotate this Case
After she was terminated from her employment as a firefighter, Appellee Chawanda Martin sued the City of College Park, the city council, and various interim officials, including the two individuals responsible for her dismissal, alleging that the interim appointments were made in violation of the Open Meetings Act, and, thus, the interim officials lacked the authority to take adverse employment action against her. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, concluding that Martin’s claims were untimely and lacked evidentiary support. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed in part, determining that Martin’s challenge to Chess’ appointment was timely and, further, that the undisputed evidence demonstrated that the mayor made the challenged appointment in “consensus” with the city council without ever having taken a vote. The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari review to consider the Court of Appeals’ application of the Open Meetings Act and concluded the Court of Appeals should have first determined whether the charter for the City of College Park actually required a vote to effectuate such an interim appointment before considering the applicability of the public-vote requirement of the Open Meetings Act. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals in part and remanded this case for further proceedings.