Filing PTC ethics complaint could boomerang on you

You could be on the financial hook for a ‘frivolous’ charge
If you file an ethics complaint in Peachtree City, it had better be one you can’t lose.
The Peachtree City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 18 to amend the city Ethics Ordinance to allow for the possibility of having the person filing the complaint reimburse the city for expenses if the complaint is judged to be frivolous.
The amendment states that, upon finding no ethics violation and issuing an order to dismiss, the hearing officer after finding the complaint frivolous, unreasonable or groundless has the authority to require that the person filing the complaint be required to reimburse the city for legal fees and for the cost paid by the city to the hearing officer.
City Attorney Ted Meeker in his comments to the council said the amendment revision would provide authority, but would not mandate, the hearing officer to impose the requirement.
If issued by the hearing officer, the order would have to be acted on by the council.
The council recently accepted the findings of hearing officer and Carrollton attorney Thomas Greer in an ethics complaint against Councilman Mike King which was filed by city resident John Dufresne.
Greer ruled that “the complaint and the arguments contained therein still fail as unjustified, frivolous and patently unfounded within the meaning of the (Code of Ethics).”
Asked the amount of city funds spent on the complaint, City Manager Jon Rorie said the city to date has spent approximately $2,500 on the ethics complaint.
Dufresne is a council appointee to the city’s Water and Sewer Authority.