Commissioner Williams Responds to Lawsuit Filed Against Him

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January 26, 2006
After finding out he may be headed to court, Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams is speaking out about a lawsuit he calls frivolous. He spoke with News 12 about what he plans to do.

Marion Williams is hardly ever at a loss for words. But Wednesday, when he learned he was being sued, he said he didn’t want to talk. But today, he’s speaking out and he’s talking to News 12 first.

“He’s not gonna tell me how to vote or what to vote for,” Marion Williams said.

Commissioner Marion Williams may be in the middle of a lawsuit, but he says it won’t slow him down.

“This is frivolous, how in the world it doesn’t make sense for the accusations that have been made,” Williams said.

“I believe Mr. Williams has illegally formed committees and is illegally holding the office of mayor pro-tem,” said Woody Merry.

Tuesday, Woody Merry, founder of government watchdog group CSRA Help, filed a civil action suit against the District 2 commissioner.

“This is just another way to attack Marion Williams. It’s just another way to attack my character,” Williams said.

The sixteen-page lawsuit stems from the January third commission meeting where Williams abstained twice from the vote for a mayor pro-tem. That prevented the mayor from breaking a tie between Williams and Andy Cheek.

“I was elected by a community to do what I feel is right. I’ve got a right to abstain if I feel that it’s what I need to do,” Williams said.

Williams says he finds it ironic that he’s being accused of breaking the law.

“Really the law was broken when we voted a second time. We shouldn’t have voted but once when it didn’t go anywhere, it should have been a done deal,” Williams said.

Mayor Copenhaver says the lawsuit caught him by surprise and he was hoping that commissioners themselves would break the gridlock. But if the judge rules that Marion Williams has to vote yes or no, he’s prepared to do his job.

“I am decisive in all situations and if I have to break a tie, I will break a tie and move forward with the business of the city,” Copenhaver said.

“Maybe they think I’m going to run for mayor, maybe that’s why they’re trying to prevent, if I decide to run for mayor, they’ll know in plenty of time,” Williams said.