by: Lori Geary Updated:ATLANTA —
Channel 2 Action News has learned exclusively that a lawsuit over the new Atlanta Braves stadium is expected to be filed against the Cobb County Commission in the next 10 days.
Channel 2's Lori Geary spoke to Atlanta Tea Party Patriots founder Debbie Dooley, who said it's about public money going into a private enterprise.
"We believe this is an unconstitutional use of the money, the taxpayer money," Dooley told Geary.
Dooley said the problem is the proposal uses almost $9 million a year from the general fund to help pay off the $300 million in bonds.
She calls it creative financing by the Cobb Commission.
"We believe the legal advice they received was on shaky ground," Dooley said.
Attorney and part-time Fulton County State Court Judge Louis Levenson told Geary the taxpayers could have legal standing,
"Being around the court system for a long time, I'm astonished the decisions people make without having thought it through. I'm not saying this wasn't well thought out, but the nuances of this could very well result in litigation for a long time," Levenson said.
Dooley said this is something that cannot stand.
"This affects the entire state of Georgia because if Cobb County is allowed to get away with this, you can bet other counties will do everything in their power to circumvent a vote by the people for something like this," Dooley said.
Dooley said they will have between five and 10 plaintiffs in the
suit, involving people who live in Cobb County with several groups backing them.
Commission Chairman Tim Lee's office said he has no comment until the suit has been officially filed. He told Channel 2 Action News earlier the deal has been vetted.