Our network

Waste Watchers: Should city pay mayor's legal fees? | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Waste Watchers: Should city pay mayor's legal fees?

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- Mayor Don Haddix of Peachtree City has just been handed a very steep paycut.

Last week, the city council voted four to one to reduce the mayor's monthly pay from $750 to $75. Haddix had the only dissenting vote.

Now, Haddix says, he may resign or seek legal action.

The council says Haddix owes the city nearly $10,000 for legal fees accrued when the former mayor sued Haddix for libel. Haddix wrote in an email that the former mayor would show up to council meetings part-drunk. 

WASTE WATCHERS | Tax dollar waste investigations

The issue was settled out of court, but the $10,000 went to Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA), the city's insurance company, to cover Haddix's legal fees. The insurance covers elected officials, but because the lawsuit was filed against Haddix as a private citizen, the council says he needs to repay the money.

Haddix refused, saying the suit was based on his actions as a public official.

"It's fully justifiable because it's insurance money," he told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander. "It's already been proven that I was functioning as mayor. GIRMA would not cover me as a private citizen."

Haddix said the whole thing is politically motivated and says he will either take legal action or step down altogether.