Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brunswick Mayor-Elect Faces Another Legal Delay; the Hearing on Bryan Thompson's Possible Job Conflict Is Moved to Dec. 19

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brunswick Mayor-Elect Faces Another Legal Delay; the Hearing on Bryan Thompson's Possible Job Conflict Is Moved to Dec. 19

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

BRUNSWICK -- Mayor-elect Bryan Thompson has gone through six hearings or court actions on his way to election. He has at least one more coming after Senior Superior Court Judge Tom Pope delayed until Dec. 19 a hearing that was to have been Thursday.

Pope granted the delay at the request of unofficial write-in candidate Elaine Brown, the former chairwoman of the Black Panther Party.

Thompson got 64 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 election over two official candidates and Brown. Brown's votes were tallied only because of a federal court order. She had been removed from the city ballot and county voter list for failing to prove she had lived in Brunswick the required year.

Brown and Zack Lyde, a Brunswick resident and supporter, challenged Thompson's election asserting his job as chief executive officer of Blueprint Brunswick provides a conflict of interest with the mayor's office. They also assert the two positions are incompatible under Georgia law.

Representing herself in court, Brown received a continuance after she complained she had not been properly served and told of the pending hearing before Pope. That deprived her of her right to subpoena witnesses, Brown argued.

But Austin Catts, an attorney representing Thompson, said as a petitioner Brown was not entitled to be served with her own action.

That may be the case, but the two other candidates that Thompson trounced, Otis Herrington, who was on the ballot, and Betsy Bean, who ran as a write-in, are parties to any such challenge and should have been served, Pope said.

He gave Herrington and Bean until Tuesday to file an answer to Brown's petition and set a hearing for Dec. 19.

Bean had already used the same assertions of conflict of interest when she challenged Thompson's candidacy before the Glynn County Board of Elections. The board ruled there may be some future conflict but could not take Thompson off the ballot on the basis of something that might happen. …

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