Former Forest Park City Councilwoman Karen-Brandee Williams has been waiting for her day in court in hopes of continuing what she most wants to do, represent her Ward 2 constituents on the city council and serve the residents of Forest Park.
That day will come Nov. 5 at a hearing in the courtroom of Clayton County Superior Court Chief Judge Deborah Benefield who will hear Williams’s civil appeal regarding her removal from office, by vote of the Forest Park City Council, on July 28, 2011.
The Ward 2 seat which Williams occupied has remained vacant since her removal.
Williams contends the 5-0 vote in 2011 to remove her was unethical as it went against the city charter.
“The council used a city ordinance which states that, to remove a sitting council member, requires a five member council vote,” she said.
“The council did not have five council members to vote on my removal and so the council used the mayor to cast the fifth vote,” Williams said.
She said Forest Park attempted to “drive through legislation under the gold dome,” which would allow Forest Park to remove a sitting council member with only three votes instead of five. That legislation did not pass, she said.
Williams explained that, according to the powers and duties of the mayor as set forth in the Forest Park city charter, the mayor can only cast a vote if the council vote on an issue is tied or deadlocked, “and this was not a situation in which there was a tie vote,” Williams said.
“I am fighting for freedom and justice on this issue,” she said. “I want to return to council to represent the Ward 2 constituents who elected me, as I want to be their voice on the city council.”
Brandee Williams said Ward 2 residents have not had a voice on city issues since her removal from office.
She believes the city is “coming after me” which, she said, stems from her asking the city to purchase a special chair for her, because of her disability, so that she could be more comfortable sitting on council.
“I am fighting against a system that uses taxpayer dollars to fight against people they don’t like and kick them out of office,” Williams said.