Marietta councilman suing Cobb County, seeking money from car crash

Headshot of Marietta's Ward 5 councilman Reggie Copeland

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Headshot of Marietta's Ward 5 councilman Reggie Copeland

A Marietta councilman is suing Cobb County two years after a crash with a county worker.

Reggie Copeland, who represents Ward 5, claims he suffered severe injuries to his neck, head and back from the crash. Copeland unseated Rubens Sands in November 2017.

The lawsuit asks that $23,400 be given to the 56-year-old pastor of House of Hope Church International. The lawsuit indicates he has spent $5,400 on medical bills.

The suit names the county worker who was driving, the county board of commissioners and the county’s parks and recreation department.

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The suit — filed two years to the day after the April 12, 2016 crash — asks for a jury trial.

The lawsuit came to light through media reports about two months after it was filed.

As described in the suit, Copeland was driving north on Cherokee Street near Kennesaw Avenue when a Cobb parks employee in a county vehicle who was trying to change lanes “smashed into and sideswiped” Copeland’s SUV.

According to the crash report from Marietta police, the county driver “changed lanes improperly” while trying to turn left onto Kennesaw Avenue.

The suit claims the county employee was “not paying attention.”

In its response to the lawsuit, the county denies the way that the crash is characterized but did not offer its own explanation of events.

Copeland declined to comment on the lawsuit. His attorney, Bernie Lawrence-Watkins, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Cobb County officials also declined to comment on the pending litigation.

In its response to the suit, the county said that it and its departments cannot be sued as entities in the way the lawsuit has been filed.

The parks employee mentioned in the suit still works for the county, Cobb spokesman Ross Cavitt said.

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Copeland has recently found himself in the news for something else entirely.

He filed for a restraining order against fellow councilman Andy Morris following a nose-to-nose shouting match reported to police after a June 11 council meeting. The request also mentioned an April meeting in which Morris allegedly "gestured the middle finger" at Copeland.

The restraining order request, which would have barred any direct or indirect contact between the two councilmen, was dismissed by a Cobb judge on June 18.

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