• State AG wants fine against Cumming mayor for meeting ejection

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    CUMMING, Ga. - The state attorney general is demanding the Cumming mayor be fined over the ejection of a blogger from a public meeting.

    Nydia Tisdale, who runs the blog AboutForsyth.net, was videotaping an April 17 city council meeting when Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt asked that her camera be removed. Cumming Police Chief Casey Tatum then escorted her from the council chambers. According to Attorney General Samuel Olens’ complaint, Gravitt and the city broke the law.

    In refusing to permit videotaping of its public meeting, Gravitt violated Georgia’s Open Meetings Act, “which expressly provides that visual and sound recording during open meetings shall be permitted,” the complaint said.

    A city attorney has disputed the allegations, saying Tisdale was never touched, but Olens’ complaint said her recording, along with the city’s own recording, refute that defense.

    “It was plain that Ms. Tisdale was being forcibly removed from the auditorium,” the complaint said.

    Olens said the city broke the law again when Tisdale returned to record the meeting with her cellphone camera, but the mayor ordered to stop that recording as well.

    “The actions of the defendants were neither legally nor factually performed in objective good faith,” the complaint said.

    Olens is asking for a superior court judge to impose a $1,000 fine against the city and provide compensation for attorney’s fees.

    http://bcove.me/z8qxzjx6


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