Residents file lawsuit to remove East Point mayor

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

EAST POINT, Ga. —

Two East Point residents have filed a lawsuit seeking to remove a small suburb's mayor from office.


Dustin Drabot and Barbara Collins said East Point Mayor Earnestine Pittman has violated her oath of office and violated city laws while serving as they city’s part-time mayor.
 
"She goes to an ethics hearing, or she has her three minutes of comment at the end of council meetings,  and she'll comment on, ‘If you think I'm wrong, sue me.’ I'm taking her up on her offer," Drabot said shortly after his lawyer filed the suit in Fulton County Superior Court.
 
"There's rules for all of us, and the mayor has her own set of rules," Collins said. "There comes a time when you are going to have to take a stand."
 
As for the mayor, she told Channel 2 Action News reporter Tony Thomas that she looks forward to her day in court.
 
"The whole suit is laughable. I'm not surprised about anything some certain residents in this city will do. I made them very angry," Pittman said.
 
The lawsuit accuses Pittman of meddling in the day-to-day operations of the city, which the plaintiffs claim she is legally not allowed to do. They also say she has violated the open-meetings laws.

"I am most concerned with her meddling in the day-to-day operations of the city," Drabot said.
 
This isn't the first time Pittman has been at the center of controversy during her time in office. She has battled vocal critics at several public meetings and been involved in heated discussions with council members over taxes, water rates and other issues facing the struggling city.
 
The lawsuit asks a judge to remove Pittman from office. She first has 30 days to respond to the allegations, and it's unclear when the issue might be taken up in court. 

Drabot said he hopes to have everything resolved within six months.


"I hope that a judge can see that time is of the essence and that every day, every week, every month that this mayor is in office, she is doing more harm," Drabot said.
 
The mayor told Thomas the lawsuit has already had one impact: It's helped her make up her mind to run for re-election when her term expires next year.