The attorney representing Gwinnett's 15 cities filed a motion Wednesday seeking a citation of contempt against the head of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
In his motion, A.J. "Buddy" Welch accuses the agency of "blatant disregard" of a court order reimposing state sanctions against the cities and Gwinnett County, who are locked in a dispute over a service delivery agreement. The order was issued by Judge David E. Barrett who is presiding over the dispute.
The DCA oversees service delivery agreements throughout the state. Mandated by state law, the agreements are set up to guard against duplication of services between county and municipal governments. Counties and cities without an agreement face sanctions, including the loss of state grants and permits. Those sanctions have been held in check by court order while both Gwinnett and its cities worked to hammer out a deal.
After a year of failed negotiations, Barrett set a Feb. 1 deadline to reimpose the sanctions. But they weren't.
The DCA only administers the penalties three times a year -- the earliest being at the end of February, not soon enough for the cities.
Welch said Wednesday the county has done nothing but delay negotiations, and he wants to see the process move forward.
Officials with the DCA would not comment on the case, but Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister has characterized the cities' action as detrimental to all county residents.
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