Horgan recall hearing set for Friday

Wed, 08/26/2009 - 3:27pm
By: John Munford

A Superior Court Judge from the Coweta circuit will hear arguments Friday on a recall review petition filed by Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan.

Horgan is challenging an attempt by a group of residents to remove him from office via a recall. The recall centers on Horgan’s May 19? arrest for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and driving with an expired tag.

The hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Troup County Courthouse. The judge appointed to hear the case is A. Quillian Baldwin Jr.

After first telling the sheriff’s deputy he had nothing illegal in the vehicle, Horgan admitted on the scene that he had smoked marijuana while driving the truck, according to the incident report.

Georgia law allows Horgan to file the Superior Court petition to challenge the legal legitimacy of the recall petition. The recall application alleges that Horgan both violated his oath of office and committed an act of misconduct.

Horgan was re-elected to his seat on the commission last November. County commissioners serve four-year terms.
In legal briefs, Horgan’s attorney has argued that the petition lacks any pertinent details surrounding the marijuana charge, including whether or not it occurred while Horgan was conducting business as a county commissioner.

Horgan also contends the recall application fails to state whether his arrest was “in any way related to his office” and doesn’t include a copy of the citations he was given in connection with the case. The filing also notes that the recall application didn’t include a copy of the oath of office he is alleged to have violated.

Under Georgia law, the chairman of the recall effort will bear the burden of proof during a later court hearing on the matter. The recall effort is chaired by Peachtree City resident Robert J. Ross, who is also being assisted behind the scenes by former county commissioner Harold Bost.

Should the recall effort be allowed to continue, the recall committee will have 45 days in which to gather 21,454 signatures of Fayette voters who were registered to vote in last year’s election. If that goal is met, the list must then be verified by the elections office before a recall vote can be scheduled.

If voters remove Horgan from office, a second vote will be required at a later date to elect a replacement. Even under those circumstances, Georgia law allows Horgan to run in the special election to determine who will be elected to his post 1 seat.

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Submitted by hier56 on Wed, 08/26/2009 - 9:31pm.

The recall committee's website seems to be lacking in support for their efforts.

Submitted by PTC Observer on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 8:11pm.

How can you tell?

Submitted by PTCBernie on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:52pm.

The only strong support for a recall that I've seen is from this newspaper.

What a tremendous waste of taxpayer money at a time when we're laying off workers and furloughing others!

Let the voters settle it in the next election.


Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:11pm.

We the voters not once, but twice put him in office, so let's live with it. The actual cost to remove him is excessive and offers little chance of success.

Just like Harold et al, if we are to be so uninformed or ignorant so as to elect these folks, we deserve the consequences.

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