A change to Hoschton’s ethics ordinance was proposed on Monday amid continued controversy and calls for the town’s mayor and mayor pro tem to resign.
Hoschton attorney Thomas Mitchell introduced the ordinance change, which would allow the city administrator to select a hearing officer for ethics complaints if the town clerk can’t “constitute a hearing board.” (If the city administrator were the subject of the complaint, the clerk could select the hearing officer.)
According to the proposed changes, the “hearing officer shall be a city or county attorney not representing Jackson County or any adjacent county...”
If approved, the changes could affect how the recent ethics complaints filed against Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Cleveland are handled. Over 80 ethics complaints were recently filed against the two of them over racially-charged comments.
At Monday’s meeting, Mitchell advised that Kenerly and Cleveland are “disqualified” from voting on the item.
“Because of the circumstances, it’s my opinion that the mayor and council member Cleveland are disqualified from voting on this particular amendment at this particular time,” said Mitchell.
The three remaining board members voted to waive first reading of the change. It could be approved at the city’s next regular meeting.