Lawsuit Documents Nineteen Open Records Violations by City of Atlanta
Image of Robert Ashe used pursuant to fair use doctrine.
(APN) ATLANTA — In an amended complaint filed on yesterday, Friday, February 21, 2020, citizen advocate Adrian Paulette Coleman provided Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney with evidence of a total of at least nineteen known violations of the Georgia Open Records Act by the City of Atlanta.
One violation is alleged by Coleman; two are alleged by senior advocate Ben Howard; two are alleged by senior advocate Edith Ladipo; one is alleged by senior advocate Ron Shakir; and twelve are alleged by the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News, the present writer.
These eighteen violations are documented in a Table created by Atlanta Progressive News, available online:
In addition to these eighteen violations, is the recent criminal conviction of Jenna Garland, former spokeswoman for the City of Atlanta.
Coleman and the Friends of the Court are scheduled to appear in Fulton County Superior Court on Friday, February 28, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. in Judge McBurney’s courtroom for a status conference.
Coleman originally complained when the City of Atlanta’s Law Department failed to respond after nearly two weeks to her request for certain reports that Comcast is supposed to file with the City.
Since Coleman’s original filing, there has emerged a “me too” movement of Atlanta advocates who have filed briefs and Affidavits claiming that they, too, have had their rights violated by the City of Atlanta under the Georgia Open Records Act.
Now, the City of Atlanta is using its outside attorney, Robbie Ashe, who the City is paying 450 dollars per hour, to send intimidating discovery requests to Mr. Howard, who is 86; Ms. Ladipo, who is 73; and Mr. Shakir, who is also a senior advocate.
In a recent letter from Mr. Ashe obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, the City of Atlanta, among other things, accuses Howard, Ladipo, and Shakir–without any evidence–of receiving monetary compensation for their filing of amicus briefs with the Court.
Howard and Ladipo, who received their copies of Mr. Ashe’s letter yesterday, told APN that they are outraged by the letter.
Neither Ladipo, nor Shakir, nor Howard have received any monetary compensation for their advocacy in the Coleman lawsuit; and, in fact, each are out of pocket for travel, printing, and/or other photocopying.
Mr. Ashe, on the other hand, is being paid more than twelve cents per second by the taxpayers of the City of Atlanta to intimidate seniors.
This explains Ashe’s apparent inability to comprehend what it might be like for Ladipo, Shakir, and Howard to be motivated by altruism, with nothing to gain but justice.
On yesterday, Feb. 21, Coleman filed a Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings, asking the Court to order the City of Atlanta within ninety days to publish the Open Records Website that it is required to have, per City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances, Part II, Chapter 3, Secs. 3-31 and 3-32(a).
Currently, the Open Records Website only contains two of the required twelve elements.
In her amended complaint, Coleman is also seeking a one thousand dollar civil penalty against the City of Atlanta for negligence in failing to timely respond to her Nov. 26, 2019 request.
Coleman is also seeking a Consent Decree with more specific and detailed requirements for open records training; and for the Court to order the City to obtain from Comcast the reports that Comcast is required to file with the City.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2020)