MILTON, Ga. — A judge has ruled in favor of a metro Atlanta man who was forced to defend himself in court after filing an ethics complaint against a Milton City Council member.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray has been following the story since Tony Palazzo found himself facing legal action for speaking up about alleged wrongdoing by a member of the Milton City Council.
“I think it’s about transparency and accountability in government,” Palazzo said.
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Palazzo spent more than $30,000 of his own money to stand up and fight a writ of certiorari filed by City Councilman Paul Moore that named the city and Palazzo as defendants.
In March, Channel 2 Action News reported that Palazzo filed an ethics complaint against Moore for not recusing himself from a vote related to the subdivision where he lived.
The City Ethics Board ruled that Moore did violate ethics rules.
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Moore then filed suit and listed Palazzo as a defendant and demanded the decision be overturned and Moore’s legal fees be paid.
“I thought it was a simple process. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have to retain legal counsel,” Palazzo said.
Palazzo says this should serve as a reminder to other citizens to speak up.
A Fulton County judge has now dismissed Moore’s case.
Moore’s attorney released a statement to Gray that read,”
“We respectfully disagree with the Judge’s ruling, and we intend to appeal. We will do everything in our power to see that Paul is ultimately vindicated, as he should be.”
Richard Griffiths with the Georgia First Amendment Foundation told Gray that he believes the judge’s ruling was a win for good and open government.
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