“They’re just totally ignoring the judge’s order,” Sutton said Friday, in response to the county’s position that no change is needed while the case is on appeal. “And my lawyer told me that what they said was incorrect, that they can’t just do that. They would have to go before a judge and ask for permission.”
Jackson ruled last year that the 2015 restructuring of the Board of Ethics was unconstitutional because it allowed outside groups to appoint most members. Georgia law requires elected officials to make these appointments, Jackson said.
Sutton filed her suit after the Ethics Board began investigating her on accusations she misspent public funds.
She considered Jackson's ruling a victory. Since then, Sutton and her supporters have complained about the board continuing to operate under the status quo while the Georgia Supreme Court deliberates.
Members have continued to hear cases and make rulings, such as their recent decision to fine former DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson $9,000 for using public resources for campaign duties and for asking county vendors to make donations he funneled to secret accounts.
Attorney Darren Summerville, who represents the Ethics Board, said he had not yet crafted a formal response to Sutton’s request that the four members immediately step down.
Jackson scheduled a hearing for July 20, but the Board of Ethics said it did not receive proper notice and it was canceled. Sutton said her attorney is now on leave and the hearing likely won’t take place until mid- or late August.