Bolstered by the city attorney's opinion that she did not violate state law amid the mosque controversy, Lilburn Mayor Diana Preston said Friday she would not resign her position to satisfy a small, yet vocal group of residents.
"If thought it would help, I'd go ahead and resign," said Preston, speaking out for the first time since November. "But if I resigned, I don't think we'd gain anything. It would create more unrest."
A handful of residents at a City Council meeting on Jan. 11 demanded that Preston step down or be removed from office. One noted that she failed to file a conflict-of-interest form related to her Hood Road property.
That property was part of a rezoning application by the local congregation of Dar-E-Abbas, which wanted to buy the mayor's land as part of an effort to build a giant mosque at U.S. 29. The City Council in November rejected the rezoning request, which has since sparked a lawsuit against the city.
In his opinion issued Friday, City Attorney Richard Carothers said the mayor followed the law. Preston disclosed she was the property owner in the rezoning application, and she recused herself from all mosque-related meetings, Carothers wrote.
"I'm at peace with myself," Preston said. "I don't feel I have anything to say I'm sorry for. And I'm not a quitter."
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