Norreese Haynes' Lawsuit!

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CLAYTON COUNTY, STATE OF GEORGIA,


NORREESE L. HAYNES,                                                    

Petitioner,                                                                    

                                                                                           

v.                                                                                           

                                                                                               

ERICKA DAVIS, EDDIE WHITE, YOLANDA EVERETT, DAVID ASHE, AND ROD JOHNSON IN THEIR OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES AND AS MEMBERS OF THE CLAYTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE CLAYTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION,                                

Respondents.        


PETITION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER,
PETITION FOR DETERINATION OF BOARD MEMBER ELIGIBILITY, AND
APPEAL OF CLAYTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION’S DECISION TO REMOVE NORREESE L. HAYNES FROM OFFICE.


Now comes Petitioner Norreese L. Haynes and files this Petition as follows:

1.

            The Respondents in this case are Ericka Davis, Eddie White, Yolanda Everett, David Ashe, and Rod Johnson, each in his or her official and individual capacity as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education and the Clayton County Board of Education.

2.

Petitioner is Norreese L. Haynes who is also a member of the Clayton County Board of Education, representing the residents of District Eight. 

3.

            Jurisdiction and venue of this civil action are proper in this court.  Petitioner has standing in this matter because he is a legal resident of this county and is the school board member who was illegally removed from office.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

4.

On Monday, March 3, 2008, the Clayton County Board of Education, in a 5 - 3 -1 vote, expelled Petitioner from the school board in which the voters of District Eight duly elected him.   This action was wholly without merit and was rooted in the most crass of political vendettas.  Petitioner was never given one opportunity to defend himself against the bush-whacking which took place.  His polite and civil attempt to read from O.C.G.A. 21-2-217 to show that his legal residence/domicile completely complied with this statute was rudely and brusquely aborted by a staged escort from the stage by three armed police officers, apparently responding to Chairperson Davis’s exhortation, “Come get him.”

Chairperson Ericka Davis, without any authority from the Clayton County Board of Education, commenced a police investigation of Petitioner by requesting her friend Eldrin Bell, Chairman of the Clayton County Commission to “conduct[ing] an inquiry into the certified addresses of the Clayton County Board of Education members.”  Bell’s letter of February 27, 2008 to Chairperson Davis (“Per your request…”) further states:  “Please find attached a preliminary report pertaining to Mr. Norreese Haynes.  I will continue to provide you with information as we [presumably Mr. Bell and the Clayton County Police Department] bring this investigation to closure.”  See Exhibit One.

Neither Ms. Davis nor Mr. Bell had any authority to conduct a full criminal background investigation of Petitioner.  Mr. Chris Harvey of Secretary of State Karen Handel’s office has been conducting a thorough investigation of the residences of the school board members, interviewing the school board members and other parties.  Ms. Davis and Mr. Bell went on an unauthorized witch hunt, seeking in particular any information by which they could discredit Petitioner. 

The conclusions which this Davis-Bell-driven police investigation arrived at are largely based on half-baked sources as well as skewed and inaccurate information.  So much of the report is simply laden with misinformation.  The so-called “damning” information will be easily refuted when Petitioner is granted a hearing.   Even a ham sandwich looks guilty when witnesses are not cross-examined and exculpatory evidence is withheld.

Even the “attached preliminary report pertaining to Mr. Norreese Haynes” which Bell sent to Davis on February 27, 2008 is not conclusive:  “…[P]robable cause has likely been established that Haynes may never have lived within his represented district.”  See Exhibit Two.   The writer of the police report regarding Petitioner demonstrates not only a diffidence about drawing some conclusions, but also a woeful lack of knowledge about Georgia residency laws.  He/she writes:  “The identification of multiple residences located outside his district being associated with Haynes during his term as a Clayton County School Board Member [sic] bears further investigation.  The nature of his relationship with these out of district [sic] addresses cannot be determined from the limited information developed in the initial investigation.  Additional investigation in this area of concern is highly warranted.”  (Emphases added.)  See Exhibit Two, page 6.  The writer reveals his/her lack of statutory knowledge about the “[r]ules for determination of residence” (O.C.G.A. 21-2-217).  Petitioner had secured an apartment strictly for school purposes in December of 2006.  He co-signed a lease with a fellow student at the University of Phoenix’s Marietta campus.  See Exhibit 3A.  In fact, the campus is located down the street from the apartment.  Petitioner had been attending classes at the University of Phoenix’s Marietta campus for about three years and is slated to graduate in April of 2008.  See Exhibit 3B.  Petitioner never intended to give up his legal residence on Starr Road in Morrow, Georgia.  O.C.G.A. 21-2-217 (a) (8) (9) reads:  “No person shall be deemed to have gained or lost his or her residence by reason of such person’s presence or absence while enrolled as a student at any college, university, or other institution of learning in this state;  The mere intention to acquire a new residence, without the fact of removal, shall avail nothing; neither shall the fact of removal without the intention.”  (Emphases added.)

ANALYSIS OF THE LAW

5.

As a matter of law, Petitioner could have owned and/or rented 18 dozen residences throughout Georgia and throughout these beautiful United States – be they on Lake Oconee in Greene County, Georgia, Pointe Vedra, Florida, Houston County, Georgia, Fannin County, Georgia, Fayette County, Georgia, the Camp Creek area of Fulton County, Georgia,  Savannah, Georgia, Pickens County, Georgia, Pike County, Georgia, a quad-plex on Kendrick Road in Clayton County, Wetumpka, Alabama or even in the multiple locations where Mr. Bell may have residences – and as long as Petitioner “intends” for his legal residence (where he votes and registers his vehicle and registers his driver’s license and uses for income tax purposes and for employment records and receives his mail and is in and out of as he pleases) to be 2722 Starr Road in Morrow, Georgia (the address that the police report was questioning), then this is his legal address.  O.C.G.A. 21-2-217 (a) (2) (3) reads:  “A person shall not be considered to have lost such person’s residence who leaves such person’s home and goes into another state or county or municipality in this state, for temporary purposes only, with the intention of returning, unless such person shall register to vote or perform other acts indicating a desire to change such person’s citizenship and residence;  A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or municipality of this state into which such person has come for temporary purposes only without the intention of making such county or municipality such person’s permanent place of abode.”  (Emphases added.)

Petitioner has the right to have many residences without giving up his legal residence for voting purposes and for holding office – like many former and current office-holders in Clayton County have enjoyed and now enjoy.   Legal residency boils down to a person’s intent.  By acquiring another residence near his school in Marietta, Petitioner never intended to give up his legal residence in District Eight.  He stayed in the Marietta apartment for “temporary purposes only.”  The statute calls for a “presumptive” posture concerning residence.  See O.C.G.A. 21-2-217 (b).

At the same March 3, 2008 school board meeting, Chairperson Davis pulled out a resolution which had not been in the packets sent to the other school board members. See Exhibit Four. This resolution was not on the Board’s agenda, and board members were caught completely off-guard by this surreptitious resolution which Davis read aloud. This resolution makes statements which are specifically counter to the “[r]ules for determination of residence” which are delineated in O.C.G.A. 21-2-217.  The resolution pays no attention to what the statute clearly outlines regarding “intention” as well as “presence” and “absence.”  Whereas the relatively new statute of O.C.G.A. 45-5-1(b) states that “[u]pon the occurrence of a vacancy in any office in the state, the officer or body authorized to fill the vacancy or call for an election to fill the vacancy shall do so without the necessity of a judicial determination of the occurrence of the vacancy[,]” this new statute (which flies in the face of the precedent case law; see Smith v. Ouzts, 1958, 214 Ga. 144; Long v. Carter, 1929, 39 Ga.App. 508; Patten v. Miller, 1940, 190 Ga. 123;and Partain v. Maddox, 1971, 227 Ga. 624) certainly does not obviate the need for the “officer or body” to base its decision upon a proper analysis of the statute which outlines the “rules for determination of residence.”  O.C.G.A. 21-2-217.  Otherwise, any “officer or body” which wants to remove its political nemesis could do exactly what Chairperson Davis did, viz., call upon her good buddy Eldrin Bell who serves on another political board to use his office to direct the Police Department to conduct a full criminal investigation of her political opponent, the Petitioner.  When the statute refers to “vacancy,” the ordinary meaning of this term, especially in light of the “rules for determination of residence” which is “presumptively” outlined in O.C.G.A. 21-2-217, is job abandonment.  Hence, this is the rationale for the statute stating that “[b]efore doing so [filling the vacancy or calling for an election to fill the vacancy], however, the officer or body shall give at least ten days’ notice to the person whose office has become vacant, except that such notice shall not be required in the case of a vacancy caused by death, final conviction of a felony, or written resignation.”  O.C.G.A. 45-5-1(b).  If a board member has been moose-hunting in Montana for six months straight and his/her fellow board members conclude that he/she has abandoned his/her office, then this moose-hunting board member should be provided a ten day notice before his/her seat is put on the chopping block, so to speak.  Petitioner had not abandoned his office, but was very active in his school board role and was hijacked out of his office by Third World police tactics.  The Court in Partain v. Maddox, 227 Ga. 623 (1971) held that although Partain had signed an undated resignation letter from the Board of Pardons and Paroles at the time of his appointment and was accused of abandoning his office, he was still entitled to a preliminary injunction pending a judicial determination of his right to hold his office.  Petitioner was never even accused of abandoning his office.  He has only missed one special-called meeting since his inauguration.  His seat was not vacant, but warmly filled each meeting by Petitioner.  To allow political opponents to disenfranchise not only the Petitioner himself but also the voters of District Eight who elected Petitioner brings back vivid memories of Saddam Hussein pointing to the helpless accused in one of his contrived assemblies and directing the Republican Guard to whisk away this accused disloyalist to the dreaded chamber.  Brown-shirted, strong-armed tactics were the norm for Mussolini’s Italy and are the norm for Raoul Fidel’s Cuba, but hardly the legal norm for a constitutional republic.  Even those accused of treason, drunk driving, murder, or dog fighting are provided due process rights in our constitutional republic.  To make unauthorized, baseless, and politically motivated accusations against Petitioner without the facts or the law supporting these accusations and then to subsequently ramrod a resolution from parts unknown onto the Board’s agenda to cause Petitioner to be surrounded by three armed police officers and escorted off the stage when he showed no signs of refusing to leave on his own volition and to eventually ask this court for a right to demonstrate that the accusations are baseless and politically motivated is unconscionable and unconstitutional.  See Board minutes, Exhibit Five.

In a State Board of Education case (Copeland v. Harris County Board of Education, Case No. 2001-31), the Vice Chairman for Appeals held that the hearing which the board of education provided for the school board member whose legal residency was being challenged had been properly “conducted under the provisions of O.C.G.A. [Sec.] 45-5-1.”   Although the Vice Chairman of Appeals did not state that a hearing was mandatory in this case, it is interesting to note that he did not indicate that it was out of the ordinary in any way to hold a hearing for a school board member whose legal residency was being challenged.   In a similar challenge which took place in the same year (2001) against the chairman of the Marietta City Board of Education, the minutes of the May 15, 2001 school board meeting states:  “Ms. Annette Lewis made a motion to declare a vacancy and call for a special election to fill the vacancy in Ward 3 created by the incumbent no longer being a resident of the ward.  Vice-Chair Jeanie Carter seconded the motion.  A lengthy discussion followed” (page 5).  (Emphasis added.) See Marietta School Board minutes, Exhibit Six.   The minutes of the meeting reflects the “lengthy discussion.”  School board attorney Greg Poole wrote an opinion on the residency issue to the superintendent and stated that he believed that “residence” clearly means “domicile,” citing O.C.G.A. 21-2-2(32).  He also noted that the school law firm of “Harben & Hartley, in their [sic] treatise A Guide to School Law in Georgia, treat the term ‘residence’ as ‘domicile’” (page 6, Marietta Board of Education, Minutes of the Regularly Scheduled Month Meeting, May 15, 2001).  School board attorney Poole further noted:  Black’s Law Dictionary defines domicile as follows:  ‘That place where a man has a true, fixed, and permanent establishment, and to which whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning.’  ‘The permanent residence of a person or the place to which he intends to return even though he may actually reside elsewhere.’  (Emphasis added.)  The definition of domicile in Georgia law is substantially the same.  It is a very subjective concept, to be determined on a ‘case-by-case’ basis” (Ibid.). (Emphasis added.)  Petitioner in this instant matter has never at any time intended for his school apartment in Marietta to be his domicile or legal residence.  The apartment was leased on December 15, 2006 and was intended to be a temporary residence until he completed his degree which will take place next month.  Petitioner’s domicile, until recently, was 2722 Starr Road in Morrow, Georgia.  He recently moved (before the police officers’ unlawful search of the Starr Road residence) to Almach Court in Conley, Georgia.  Not for one moment has Petitioner intended to change his domicile to any place outside of School Board District Eight, despite the misinformed, false, and scandalous statements made by Chairperson Davis, Commissioner Bell, and Police Chief Turner.  If Petitioner chose to live in a room at the YMCA or in a hut in the back of someone’s yard, that is his prerogative.  If he wanted to read his school board minutes by candlelight in a rented, unlit basement, that too is his prerogative.    Being an office-holder in American is not limited to being a free-holder.  George H. W. Bush ran for President of the United States of American with his legal residence being a hotel in Houston, Texas.

Unlike Alzadie Copeland, the school board member whose seat was challenged in Harris County and who was provided a hearing to defend herself and unlike Chairman Lynn Rainey on the Marietta City School Board whose domicile was challenged and who had the benefit of the school board engaging in “[a] lengthy discussion” about his domicile, Petitioner in this instant case was rudely and brusquely cut off when he attempted to explain vis-à-vis O.C.G.A. 21-2-217 that his legal residence/domicile completely complied with the Georgia law’s “[r]ules for determination of residence.”  The phrase “rush to judgment” is an understatement; this was a case of rushing to humiliate, discredit, smear, hold out for contempt before the public, and cut off any influence Petitioner could ever have concerning school matters.  Petitioner had been duly and properly elected by the voters of District Eight.  When it appeared that Petitioner was asking too many probative questions about the on-goings of the school system, there was a rush to shut him up.  When respondents could not shut up Petitioner legally, they decided to illegally remove him from office.  The most culpable actors in this egregious episode were Chairperson Ericka Davis and Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell.  The hijack concern about Petitioner’s legal address was nothing but a ruse used and a pretext proffered to highjack Petitioner off the school board.  It mattered not to Davis and Bell that this cabal flagrantly violated Georgia law and the time-honored Constitutional principles of due process.

MOTIVATION FOR REMOVING PETITIONER FROM SCHOOL BOARD

6.

It is a matter of the public record that Petitioner railed against what he believed to be the unlawful and wasteful purchase by the school board of a now-notorious “Land Deal” in Riverdale.  The Clayton County Grand Jury subsequently vindicated Petitioner’s claim that the purchase was millions of dollars too high.  The Grand Jury stated that the school board had not been “good stewards” of the taxpayers’ money.  Although Petitioner, in one day alone, turned down interviews with four Atlanta area television stations as well as the national “The O’Reilly Factor” on FOX Television, he still reiterated to his fellow board members in public meetings that he was “still not through with the Land Deal.”  Petitioner did an Open Records Request upon the school system, asking for a copy of the Power of Attorney which the late Chief of Staff should have had at the minimum to sign a contract in lieu of the superintendent of schools at the time.  The response that he received was that there was no copy of a Power of Attorney available.  See Exhibit Seven.  Chairperson Davis signed the contract without the required signature of the CEO of the school system, the superintendent.  The seller of the property was John D. Stephens, who apparently has been a political supporter of Chairperson Davis’s friend, Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell.  The unauthorized, rushed attempt to jack-hammer Petitioner off of the school board does not pass the smell test.  It has no ring of truth.

Petitioner also, on many occasions (beginning at the August 9, 2007 Special-called school board meeting), publicly questioned the hiring of the so-called “general counsel” of the school system, Dorsey Hopson.  On Friday, August 3, 2007 at 5:44 P.M., Chairperson Ericka Davis emailed her colleagues on the school board a copy of a contract for Mr. Hopson.  At the Monday night meeting, August 6, 2007, school board member Rod Johnson recommended that a position of “in house [sic] counsel” be established, without ever mentioning the word “contract” or the name “Hopson.”  See Exhibit Eight.  Petitioner and school board member Scott voted against this motion.  On Thursday, August 9, 2007, at a special-called school board meeting, Petitioner stated publicly that O.C.G.A. 20-2-211(a) requires that all employees, both certificated personnel and other personnel, are recommended first by the superintendent of schools.  Superintendent Gloria Duncan did not recommend Mr. Hopson, although “his” contract used the words “employee,” “employment,” and variants of these two words at least thirteen times.  Mr. Hopson receives the full benefits and retirement as any other employee in the Clayton County Public Schools, but with retirement benefits at the rate of the superintendent.  He receives a “W-2” form from the school system, even though he calls himself “General Counsel” on his official school board letterhead and also calls himself “staff attorney” in front of employees.  Petitioner, publicly and several times in writing, stated that Hopson’s relationship relative to the school board and the school system’s superintendent was illegal and oxymoronic.  See Exhibit 9A and 9B.  Petitioner stated that Hopson could not be both general counsel to the school board and a staff attorney under the supervision of the superintendent at the same time.  He stated that Superintendent Duncan had not recommended him, and the school board had not even hired him properly.

The second issue with Mr. Hopson was the fact that “his” contract had been materially and substantially changed.  See Exhibit 10A and 10B.  The contract which Chairperson Davis had emailed to her colleagues on the school board on Friday, August 3, 2007 at 5:44 PM and that was supposedly voted on in Rod Johnson’s motion of August 6, 2007 (although the word “contract” or “agreement” or any equivalent word had not been mentioned in the motion nor had Hopson’s name been mentioned in the motion) was not the same contract which Chairperson Davis and Dorsey Hopson signed later and which was on file with the school system.  Dr. John Trotter, Chairman and CEO of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) did an Open Records Request upon the school system for a copy of Mr. Hopson’s contract, and Dr. Trotter was provided a copy of a the another contract, similar to the first contract but materially altered in several substantive parts.  Petitioner discussed both in public and in several writings that this material alteration of the contract constituted “fraudulent inducement” and “fraud on the factum.”  Petitioner stated this this also was a classic case of classic “bait-and-switch.”  Petitioner stated in public at a school board meeting that he intended to go to the State Bar of Georgia on Mr. Hopson, and Petitioner tried on many occasions to get his colleagues on the school board to move on this issue.  Although his colleagues admitted that they had a “mess” on their hands concerning the apparent lack of legal legal counsel (no pun intended), it appeared that the law of inertia prevailed.

Petitioner also learned that fellow school board member Rod Johnson’s wife, State Representative Celeste Baker-Johnson, had been double-dipping while serving in the Georgia General Assembly in 2007.  She was receiving pay as a legislator and as a school system employee at the same time.  Petitioner also boldly spoke out against Mr. Johnson parading with an employee of Sheriff Victor Hill’s office throughout the school system’s Central Office on the morning of July 24, the day after Dr. Gloria Duncan was installed as the interim superintendent, with an organizational chart which he apparently was foisting upon the administration, even himself attending the Cabinet Meeting with his organizational chart being passed out to the attendees.  Petitioner called Mr. Johnson that morning and told him that he needed to leave the Central Office, stating to him that his presence at the Central Office “looked bad.”  Petitioner also questioned publicly and privately why Mr. Johnson was allowed to personally hire a “chief” security person who had been released from the school system after having been arrested on suspicion of molestation of some female students.  (This person has since been indicted by the Clayton County Grand Jury concerning this matter.)  Until Petitioner and colleague Sandra Scott agitated over this illegal hiring by Mr. Johnson, this fired employee (and now indicted) was back on the Clayton County School System’s payroll.  See Exhibit 11.

Petitioner has in his possession hundreds of emails from Chairperson Davis (many of which were sent from her State of Georgia email system) to school board employees (including the superintendent), telling them what she wanted to have done.  She even directed central office staff to bring themselves and school system materials to her Fulton County church on a weekend to provide workshops for her church members.  She scolded the superintendents on several matters of which she disagreed with them.  She even plotted with Sid Chapman, the President of the Clayton County Education Association (CCEA) about how to slow down Petitioner’s proposed Teacher Bill of Rights which was later passed by the school board as a policy.  She emailed Sid Chapman, stating:  “You guys need to start pulling together a slate for next year.  Barbara [presumably Superintendent Barbara Pulliam] is now working to please JT [presumably Dr. John Trotter of an opposing union, MACE] and some other unsavory characters.  Do not trust HE [presumably school board attorney Harold Eddy] either.”  Chapman replied:  “We have suspected both—especially HE—don’t like him at all.  Is it time for BP to go?”  See Exhibit 12.  Petitioner has on several occasions, both in writing and verbally, expressed his concerns that Chairperson Davis was inappropriately micromanaging the school system.

Petitioner and other school board members did express concerns on many occasions that Ms. Davis’s email buddy and fellow member of Clayton County Education Association (CCEA)/Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), Sid Chapman, had a cozy but illegal relationship with the Clayton County Board of Education and School System.  Although he was not a teacher but a fulltime employee of CCEA/GAE, his salary was being washed through the school system, and he was illegally receiving his benefits from the school system and illegally accruing retirement credits through the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia because the Clayton County School System’s administration was fraudulently communicating to TRS that Mr. Chapman was employed as a teacher in the Clayton County School System.  Even though Mr. Hopson admitted that this arrangement was illegal, he wrote to the school board members and encouraged them to let it slide for the time being.  It wasn’t until school board member Scott threatened to go to the F.B.I. did the administration deal with this issue.  The school board finally voted to do away with this fraudulent arrangement under SACS’s concern about “undue outside influences.”

Petitioner expressed grave concerns that school members Rod Johnson and Ericka Davis had engaged in bid-tampering concerning vendors for an alternative education program.  Both of these board members approached Petitioner about trying to add another vendor to the school system’s budget, even Superintendent Pulliam had recommended another vendor to the school board.  Petitioner told Davis and Johnson only the superintendent could recommend vendor to the school board and that the school board members’ role was to vote up or down the superintendent’s recommendation.  There is email evidence that Mr. Johnson was trying to get the vendors (note: plural) to send copies of their bids (note: plural) to him and Attorney Hopson, even though the bid process had been completed and the superintendent had already recommended one particular vendor to the school board.  See Exhibit 13.

School board member Johnson inexplicably filed a ridiculous and scandalous complaint to SACS against Petitioner (as well as against two other fellow school board members).  SACS immediately sent a copy of Johnson’s complaint to the superintendent and granted numerous interviews about this complaint, making much ballyhoo about it and whipping up the Clayton County community into mass hysteria about losing accreditation and therefore the HOPE Scholarships.  In a timely fashion, Petitioner provided SACS with a detailed, twelve page response with 17 exhibits.  On December 25, 2007, Petitioner sent to SACS complaints against school board members Davis and Johnson, detailing, in four, single-spaced pages, the ethical breaches of Davis and Johnson.  See Exhibit 9B.  SACS CEO, Mark Elgart, confirmed that he had received this complaint from Petitioner but never responded in any way to this complaint. Even when he sent his investigative team to Clayton County to interview people, the team members never asked one thing about Petitioner’s complaint.  There was a thunderous silence relative to Petitioner’s Official Complaints.  Petitioner issued a press release on February 15, 2007, even before Elgart issued SACS’s response to the Clayton County School System on the same day, in which he called the SACS report “a sham and a farce” because of the biased and slanted way in which the so-called investigation was handled.  See Exhibit 14.  When Petitioner actually read the SACS Report, he realized that his premonition was accurate since the report was indeed not even-handed in any respect, but was the apparent result of Chairperson Davis’s and Commissioner Bell’s inordinate influence with Elgart and their spinning the report to their liking.  (Bell’s meddling into school matter even had him directing the Clayton Clayton Police Department into conducting an inappropriate criminal background search as well as wrongful house search relative to Petitioner.  Bell went on a media blitz, calling for the school board to remove Petitioner.  Petitioner did not fail to respond to Bell’s kibitzing into school board matters.  See Exhibit 15.)  In fact, the report was full of prejudicial statements, complete inaccuracies, and many skewed distortions.  Petitioner wrote an analysis of this fatally flawed SACS Report but because he was attempting to abide by the vote of the school board on the evening of February 25, 2007 not to send out press releases to the media, he held back this analysis.  See Exhibit 16.  Petitioner did not fall over and genuflect before SACS chieftain Mark Elgart.  The county is replete with rumors that Chairperson Davis spent several days at SACS with Mark Elgart before the SACS Report was released.  If this is correct, then this is highly inappropriate because she was one of the school board members against whom Petitioner had filed a complaint with SACS concerning eight discreet areas of ethical breaches.  Even though not one complaint which Johnson made against Petitioner stuck (and the only so-called problem that SACS cited against Petitioner was his place of employment), the report was completely one-sided and slanted to the apparent liking of Chairperson Davis.

Commissioner Eldrin Bell and Chairperson Ericka Davis launched their illegal investigation of Petitioner for the sole purpose to rip him off the school board.  Bell apparently directed Police Chief Turner to assign this political investigation to the “Special Operations Unit.”  Police officers arrived at Ms. Cynthia Roy’s house on 2722 Starr Road in Morrow, Georgia on February 26, 2008 (after Petitioner had already moved from this residence and had already notified Superintendent Duncan and other school system personnel of his change of residence) and talked to Ms. Roy’s daughter, Natasha Barnes, who does not own the house nor pay rent there.  The police officers apparently used very forceful tactics, even inviting themselves into the house and conducted an unlawful search in flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment’s strictures on searches.  See Ms. Barnes’s Statement of March 13, 2008, Exhibit 16.  Ms. Roy and Petitioner had signed a rental agreement in March of 2006, and Petitioner faithfully paid rent to Ms. Roy each month until he moved to Conley, Georgia before the police officers conducted the unlawful search.  See Rental Agreement, Exhibit 17; Rental receipts, Exhibit 18.  Ms. Roy stated:  “He [Petitioner] began renting from me in March of 2006 and has consistently paid me rent each month.  He was given a key to the house.  He obviously came and went as he wanted.  He always used the back entrance.  We have six bedrooms….Coach Haynes did not always spend the night there.  He sometime [sic] stayed in Marietta at his apartment near his college because of the convenience or at his parents, especially on the weekends.”  See Ms. Roy’s Statement, Exhibit 19.  Ms. Roy’s son also vouches for Petitioner’s stay at the Starr Road house.  See Exhibit 20.  It appears that the apparent Ericka Davis-Eldrin Bell-Mark Elgart Cabal had taken form and this cabal was looking for ways to take Petitioner off the school board and to offer him up as a Levitical scapegoat for the public.  The attitude appeared to be:  Damn the evidence!  Full speed ahead!  Otherwise, why not at least talk to Ms. Roy, the landlady herself, or to the target of this illegal criminal investigation, the Petitioner himself, who could have easily answered any pseudo concerns which they purportedly had about his legal residence/domicile?  The culprits’ actions involve scrutiny of the highest level.  They were in essence denying Petitioner the right to vote at his residence at 2722 Starr Road, Morrow, Georgia.  This is why O.C.G.A. 21-2-217(b) states that “[t]he decision of the registrars to whom such application [to vote] is made shall be presumptive evidence of a person’s residence for voting purposes.”  (Empahsis added.)

STANDARD FOR ISSUING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Petitioner needs to demonstrate the following:  (1) there is a substantial likelihood of achieving ultimate success on the merits of his case; (2) the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is necessary to prevent irreparable harm to the Petitioner; (3) the irreparable harm which will occur to the Petitioner outweighs any harm which would occur to the opposing party; and (4) the issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order will serve the public interest.

Petitioner realizes that issuing a Temporary Restraining Order is an extraordinary act of the court, but he also acutely and daily suffers the extraordinary harm caused to him by the unlawful and unconstitutional violations by the defendants.  The defendants humiliated him before the public, violated his constitutional rights, and surreptitiously and without authorization from a vote of the school board itself, caused a criminal background investigation to be launched against Petitioner which publicized a false police report allegedly given to the Cobb County Police Department by an antagonist of Petitioner wherein the antagonist made some statements which were unmitigated lies without a scintilla of truth in them.  Petitioner has been greatly harmed, and the hearing which will allow him to defend himself relative to residence is sorely needed.

The Petitioner will likely prevail because what defendant did to him violated Georgia law as well as Federal law.  It will be easy for Petitioner to demonstrate by the evidence that his legal residence/domicile was 2722 Starr Road in Morrow, Georgia before he moved to Almach Court in Conley, Georgia.

Issuing the Temporary Restraining Order will cause no financial harm to the school system.  A failure to issue one, however, will cause a great financial burden and inconvenience to Clayton County because the County will be required, by act of Local Legislation passed in 2003, to hold a Special Election to fill the alleged vacancy of School Board District Eight.  The harm caused to Petitioner and to the citizens of District Eight far outweighs any harm which a TRO will cause the board of education.

The public interest is always served when a district is represented by a person whom the voters in the district elected.  Upholding the constitutional principals of one man-one vote, due process, and voter rights is inviolate.  To keep political hacks from engaging in political vendettas at a whim without consequences for violating a political opponent’s rights under established law always serves the public interest in a constitutional republic.

COUNT 1

PETITION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

7.

Petitioner requests that the Court enter a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the Clayton County Board of Education from filling the alleged vacancy caused by the unauthorized removal of Petitioner Noreese L. Haynes from his position as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education.

1.                   

Additionally, Petitioner requests that the Court allow Petitioner to continue acting in his capacity as member of the Clayton County Board of Education until a judicial determination as to residency is determined.  See Partain v. Maddox, 1971, 227 Ga. 623.

COUNT 2

PETITION FOR DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY

AND APPEAL OF CLAYTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION’S ACT TO
REMOVE PETITIONER FROM OFFICE

9.

Petitioner appeals the decision by the Clayton County Board of Education to remove him from his position as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education.

10.

            Petitioner requests a hearing to determine his eligibility to serve as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education. 

COUNT 3

DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS RIGHTS

11.

            The removal of Norreese L. Haynes from his position as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education without a judicial determination violated Petitioner’s Due Process Rights and violated Georgia Law.  O.C.G.A. 21-2-217.

12.

            Petitioner is entitled to damages as a result of Respondents’ actions.

COUNT 4

REASONABLE ATTORNEYS FEES

13.

The individual Respondents and Clayton County Board of Education acted in bad faith and have intentionally violated the laws of the State of Georgia.

14.

As such, Petitioner is entitled to expenses of litigation including reasonable attorney fees.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner prays that the Court:

1.      issue a Temporary Restraining Order against Respondents preventing them from filling the alleged vacancy caused by the unauthorized removal of Petitioner from his position as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education;

2.      issue an Order allowing Petitioner to continue acting in his capacity as member of the Clayton County Board of Education until a judicial determination as to his legal residence/domicile is determined; and

3.      Petitioner requests a hearing to determine his eligibility to serve as a member of the Clayton County Board of Education. 

WHEREFORE, Petitioner demands that:

1.      Petitioner be awarded damages for denial of his due process rights; and

2.      Petitioner be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation expenses.

3.      That the Court grant such other and further as is equitable and proper.    
    

This ________ day of March, 2008.


J. ANDERSON RAMAY, JR.,
Attorney for Petitioner


BUSH, CROWLEY, LEVERETT & LEGGETT, LLP

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