Judge denies Motion to Dismiss on Deriso Case
Published 11:23 am Wednesday, May 24, 2023
As of May 19, 2023 a new ruling has been made by Superior Court Judge Kathy Palmer against Cordele City Commission Chairman Joshua Deriso in relation to the previous cases against the Chairman back in October 2022. Last year there was a recall for petition to collect signatures in hope to remove the City Chairman from his position through the court system. At this point two hearings have been done the first one being that of Trae Sims v. Joshua Deriso, the city commissioners, and City of Cordele, with the Plaintiffs represented by David Forehand of Cotton, Forehand, and Donohue Law Firm. During this hearing the judge heard from both lawyers several times before granting Sims and interlocutory injunction and denying the defendant the motion to dismiss the case. The second hearing being the case of Plaintiffs, John Wiggins, Cassandra Reid Woods; Sean Kagalis-Michaels, and Marletti Guest who filed a complaint with the court for the removal of the defendant, Deriso for the reason that he has repeatedly violated his oath of office along with the fundamental principles and laws. There were a number of violations in this complaint such as violating Title 45 of the O.C.G.A.; By withdrawing and willfully removing personnel records of city employees, by withdrawing and willfully removing a framed picture located within administrative lobby of the Cordele Police Department, by committing malpractice, misfeasance, and/or malfeasance in office, and by violating the City Charter by claiming to act as city manager. These were not all the violations in this complaint but they have recently been updated in the most recent Superior Court Order by Judge Kathy Palmer.
In accordance to the court documents from May 19, 2023 for the case of Plaintiffs; John Wiggins, Cassandra Reid Woods, Sean Kagalis-Michael, and Marletti Guest, v. Defendant Joshua Dersio Motion to Dismiss. After consideration, the court has DENIED said Motion to Dismiss from October 3, 2022. These violations now read that the Plantiffs’ allege, pursuant to the Charter, removal of Defendant Deriso is proper because he violated Title 45 of O.C.G.A. The charter allegedly states removal is proper for “any one or more of the causes provided in Title 45 of the O.C.G.A.” It does not matter if the Title 45 provides for removal of officer already. The Charter allegedly foes not specifically identify those specific provisions, but “any one or more of the causes provided in the Title 45 of the O.C.G.A.” Plaintiffs’ allege Deriso violated Title 45 because of the following.
- He withdrew and willfully removed personal records of city employees in violation of O.C.G.A. S 45-1 1-1 (a) and (b);
- He withdrew and willfully removed a framed picture located within the administrative lobby of the Police Department of the City of Cordele in violation of $ 45-11-1 (a) and (b);
- He committed malpractice, misfeasance, and/or malfeasance in office by authorizing payment by the City for travel accommodations for Royce Reeves after Reeves was suspended from serving as Commissioner;
- Among other things
The Plaintiffs’ claim that prior to entering is position as Chairman, Deriso took an oath confirming that he would “support and defend the charter [of the City of Cordele] as well as the constitution and laws of the State of Georgia and the United States of America.” Construing Plaintiffs’ complaint most favorably to Plaintiffs, this oath creates a legal duty to abide by the Charter and Title 45 of O.C,G,A. In the Plaintiffs’ complaint they claim that Deriso both violated the Charter and Title 45 of O.C.G.A. Plaintiffs’ allege the requisite intent/neglect by explicit pleading that Deriso committed “malpractice, misfeasance, and/or malfeasance in office” by authorizing payment by the city for travel accommodations for Royce Reeves after Reeves was suspended from serving as Commissioner. Wherefore, Deriso’s Motion to Dismiss is hereby denied.