2017 Georgia Code
Title 45 - Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 5 - Vacation of Office
§ 45-5-6.2. Suspension of "authority officials" upon indictment for felony; continued compensation; replacement officials
- (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
- (1) "Authority official" means any appointed member of a governing body of a local authority.
- (2) "Local authority" includes without limitation instrumentalities of one or more local governments created to fulfill a specialized public purpose or any other legally created organization that has authority to issue debt for a public purpose independent of a county or municipality. The term does not include state authorities. Such local authorities may have been created by local constitutional amendment, general statute, or local law.
- (b) Unless otherwise provided by general law, upon indictment of an authority official for a felony offense by a grand jury of this state or by the United States, the governing authority of the county or municipality that appointed the authority official may, by resolution entered on the minutes of the governing authority, suspend the authority official from the appointed office immediately and without further action pending the final disposition of the case or until the expiration of his or her appointed term of office, whichever occurs first. During the term of the office to which such officer was appointed and in which the indictment occurred, if a nolle prosequi is entered, if the authority official is acquitted, or if, after conviction, the conviction is later overturned as a result of any direct appeal or application for a writ of certiorari, the authority official shall be immediately reinstated to the office from which he or she was suspended. If the local authority is a joint authority or regional authority with appointments from more than one county, municipality, or combination of counties and municipalities, the governing authority of the county or municipality which was responsible for the appointment shall be authorized to suspend the indicted authority official.
- (c) If the suspended authority official is compensated for his or her duties on behalf of the local authority, the authority official shall continue to receive the compensation from his or her office until a conviction. After a conviction, the authority official shall not be entitled to receive the compensation from his or her office. If the authority official is reinstated to office, he or she shall be entitled to receive any compensation withheld under the provisions of this Code section. For the purpose of this Code section, a plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction.
- (d) For the duration of any suspension of any authority official under this Code section, a replacement official for the authority official suspended shall be appointed as provided for in any general law, local law, ordinance, or resolution governing the filling of a temporary vacancy in the public office affected. If no such general law, local law, ordinance, or resolution governing the filling of a temporary vacancy is applicable, then the governing authority of the county or city responsible for the initial appointment shall appoint a replacement officer for the authority official suspended. Upon final conviction and after exhaustion of all appeals, if any, the office of the authority official shall be vacated immediately without further action. Said vacancy shall be filled by the replacement official appointed pursuant to this subsection for the balance of the appointed term of the convicted authority official.
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