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City Attorney urges council to reconsider

Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Gossett called a special council meeting for 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. The agenda called for another attempt to vote on the ordinance authorizing a Special Election to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Del Gabbard’s resignation. The only councilmen attending were A.C. Brown, Lee Johnson and Lance Terry.

Without a quorum, no vote could be taken, nor could the council debate the issue. However, Mike Hamby, the City Attorney, did address the council with additional information and another recommendation. He informed them that he had spoken with the Arkansas Municipal League at length.

“They strongly agreed with my interpretation of the law,” Hamby said, “and recommended, as I do, that the election proceed at the primary election or before. They do not recommend the course of just not having an election or calling it for November.”

Hamby went on to explain that he had not received any notifications about a lawsuit in this matter from any attorneys. “I hear the same rumors probably that most of you have heard that it’s coming, it’s imminent.”

“The Municipal League and myself believe that a court will not find that November is a reasonable time,” he added. “They also pointed out to me that if a suit is filed, there is potential that you as council persons could lose your immunity and be sued individually.”

Hamby went on to explain that this meant each councilman would be responsible for their own legal defense and expense if a lawsuit were brought against the City. He also clarified that any citizen of Greenwood could file a suit.

Another meeting is set for 7 p.m. tonight to address the issue again.

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