Pittman defeated in East Point

Peters will face Mitchell in runoff

East Point's controversial Mayor Earnestine Pittman was defeated when she narrowly missed a slot in a runoff election.

Pittman came in third with 22 percent of the vote among four candidates. Newcomer Janquell Peters, a lawyer and small business owner, led the field withn 1,700 votes -- or 37 percent of those cast. She will face Clyde Mitchell, a former city councilman, in a run-off election. Mitchell garnered 1,091 votes, or 24 percent.

Pittman, the combative mayor who was often at odds with a portion of the council, received 1,012 votes or just over 22 percent.

Pittman, a retired math teacher, was a subject of an ethics investigation in 2012.

Former Superior Court Judge Gino Brogdon, who had been appointed as a special ethics hearing officers, ruled Pittman had violated the city charter, acted against the financial interests of the city and created a situation in which she couldn't properly represent East Point.

Brogdon's findings included:

Pittman violated the law when she, as part of a group, sued the city Nov. 4 to block increases in utility rates because it placed her in a conflict of interest both financially and professionally since as mayor she was supposed to be the chief advocate for the city and its adopted policies. Pittman vetoed a council measure that the city recoup legal costs from the plaintiffs, which would have included her. Her group dismissed the lawsuit after new council members perceived as Pittman allies unseated two incumbents.

The mayor violated the City Charter and she overstepped her authority when she vetoed a severance-compensation package for former City Manager Crandall Jones --- who was hired by the council and whom the mayor opposed --- when he quit after a new council majority was elected last year. Pittman said she saved money by forcing a cheaper severance.