Ex-Fulton elections chief sues county

A fired former Fulton County elections chief is suing the county, claiming in a lawsuit filed Monday that her dismissal was, in part, retaliation for refusing to participate in a cover up.

Sharon Mitchell was interim director over Fulton County elections in 2012 when, according to a state investigation, confusion over registrations caused long wait times for voters. She was fired last year after an internal audit and a state investigation both determined the office was inept in its handling of the vote that included the 2012 presidential election.

That day thousands of Fulton County voters were forced to cast provisional ballots when they could have cast a regular ballot. Some were told — incorrectly — that they couldn’t vote at all. Others simply gave up after spending hours in line.

Mitchell, in her lawsuit, claims she brought the election office’s deficiencies to the attention of county leaders and instead of fixing them they chose to conceal them. The lawsuit also says the county hired unqualified election consultants for partisan reasons, “wasting public resources.”

The lawsuit doesn’t spell out which leaders for which she prepared reports that documented what the lawsuit calls “improprieties and abuses ” related to the 2012 election debacle. Nor does the lawsuit say specifically which problems she sought to fix or the nature of the illegal activity that she alleges took place.

Mitchell, through her attorney Marvin Devlin, declined comment. Fulton County also declined comment, citing its policy of not publicly discussing lawsuits and personnel matters.