In oral arguments before the Georgia Supreme Court Tuesday, attorneys made the case for two Snellville factions who want the right to fire the city attorney — the mayor and the city council.
Lester Tate, representing Mayor Kelly Kautz, told justices earlier courts had erred in giving the power to fire to city council. More than 100 years of case law give the person who did the hiring the right to fire, if an appointment is for an indefinite term, he said. Under Snellville’s charter, the mayor has the right to hire the city attorney.
Jack Wilson, who represented members of the council, said because the city charter has procedures for removal, and gives rights that are not explicitly enumerated to the council, they should have the right to fire the city attorney.
Justice David Nahmias seemed to take issue with Wilson’s logic. He asked, repeatedly, how a provision in the city charter that allowed for other laws could ignore the case law that allows those who hire to also fire.
“The powers of the mayor are more limited,” Wilson said.