South Fulton County

Judge orders South Fulton's entire city council to appear in court

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — A superior court judge has ordered an entire city council to appear before her to explain why it hasn't followed her court order.

The judge ordered the city of South Fulton to hand over a legal document surrounding the firing of its chief magistrate court judge, Tiffany Sellers, ahead of an upcoming hearing.

The attorney for Sellers, George Lawson, told Channel 2's Tom Jones that the city has missed the deadline for that document and even missed an extension date.

Now the judge is requesting council members, and the mayor pro tem, to come to her court and explain why.

“I’ve never heard of it in my career and I've been around almost a half a century,” Lawson said.


Lawson says the judge could fine the council or, “she could put them in jail for contempt.”

Fulton County Judge Rachel Krause ordered city of South Fulton council members and the mayor pro tem to show up after Lawson filed a motion for contempt.

Sellers appealed her termination and the judge ordered the city to give her a bond and certification, which says she doesn't have any debt with the city.

Lawson said the city hasn't turned over the properly signed document.

“I think it would be appropriate to find them in contempt,” Lawson said.

Council member Helen Zenobia Willis told Jones that she had no clue about the July 21 court date.

Another council member said she found out about it on Sunday.

“I know we are a new city, but the law is the law,” said Jaceey Sebastian, who was instrumental in forming the new city.

He said it’s important for government employees to be on the same page so something like this doesn't happen.

“It's unfortunate. Something like this should never have happened,” Sebastian told Jones.

City of South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards does not have to show up in court since he recused himself from Sellers' removal hearing.

The city of South Fulton sent Jones a statement, saying:

"Recent news reports have circulated regarding an application for contempt filed against the city of South Fulton City Council by former Judge Tiffany Sellers regarding her removal. 

"The city is pleased to announce that following the city’s submission of legal documentation, and over the objection of Sellers, the Fulton County Superior Court denied Sellers’ application for contempt in its entirety. 

"The matter has been removed from the court’s July 11, 2019 calendar and all South Fulton Council members are excused from appearing. 

"They city is committed to operating in good faith and will continue to defend actions brought against it."