Chris-BalchBrookhaven City Council has scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. on Friday, June 19, to discuss naming an interim city attorney.

The agenda for the special called meeting says the council will consider naming Christopher Balch of the Balch Law Group to the post of city attorney. Balch’s web site says that he moved his law practice to Atlanta in 1996 and that he has represented counties, school districts, businesses and individuals.

Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams announced at the end of the council’s meeting Tuesday, June 16, that City Attorney Tom Kurrie had resigned. Kurrie met with council members during a closed-door meeting that night. Williams said Kurrie resigned because “it was clear the majority of council was quite unhappy and dismayed at his handling of recent open records cases.”

Kurrie’s resignation followed the release of documents under the state Open Records Act related to an allegation against former Mayor J. Max Davis by a city employee.

That same day, Davis apologized publicly to two employees who were present during the incident and said “the action was innocent and was not intended to bring discomfort.”

Also that day, the city issued a statement in which Kurrie denied an investigation of sexual harassment was being conducted and said there was no claim of sexual harassment against the mayor.

On June 15, ajc.com and The Brookhaven Post published newly released city memoranda from Davis and City Manager Marie Garrett that revealed more information about the incident, including an statement by Garrett that “I believe that the mayor took a liberty and crossed the line doing something I consider to be sexual harassment.”

During the special meeting Friday, the council also will discuss the procedure for filling council vacancies and releasing specific minutes from recent closed-door meetings, the city announced.

Williams was named mayor to succeed Davis, who resigned to run for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. Williams said Tuesday that she had incorrectly characterized her departure from the District 1 City Council seat. She said the seat was vacated by her election by the council as the new mayor.

Also Tuesday, council members considered whether to release the minutes of recent executive sessions. New Councilwoman Linley Jones, who was elected to the District 1 seat, said she had not taken part in the closed-door sessions and asked for time to review the minutes before the council voted on their release.

 

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