Fired city attorney may file lawsuit

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga---Augusta is looking for a new city attorney after commissioners fired attorney Eugene Jessup, Tuesday.

"Our focus now is on going back out and interviewing candidates to fully staff the in-house legal department," Mayor Deke Copenhaver says.

Court records show the Augusta is in the middle of more than 25 pending lawsuits and the Mayor says filling the position is a priority.

City leaders tell News 12 Jessup was fired because he was not a good match for the commission.

Jessup was asked to resign last month, but he refused to.
Commissioner Marion Williams says one reason the commission decided to terminate Jessup was because he started the hard drive controversy by seizing the computer of an attorney working under him.

"He went on the hard drive and got this information, and then he turned it over the the sheriff's office, put some people's names out there, i just think he's not a good match," Williams told us.

Andy Cheek says his strong will became a problem for some commissioners.

Jessup declined News 12's request for an interview, but says he did nothing to warrant being terminated. He also says he is considering filing a wrongful termination suit against the city.

Until Jessup's replacement is named, the Mayor says the city will use outside attorneys to represent the city.

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