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Posted: October 1, 2013 2:22 p.m.

Newton woman, former candidate withdraws lawsuit against city of Conyers

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Olivia Holmes Ware

Former Conyers mayoral candidate Olivia Holmes Ware has withdrawn her civil lawsuit against the city of Conyers, according to a letter filed in Rockdale County Superior Court on Monday.

Ware, who was disqualified from the race last Wednesday, also announced she had withdrawn her candidacy.

She wrote, "I question 1-4 if I would have attended the hearing the outcome would have been in my favor. I never received a Certify copy or US Mail delivery of the hearing until September 23, 2013. (sic)"

"For the reasons set forth herein, I was not aware the representative from the campain did not wait to receive hand delivery notice of hearing after I specifically stated, that the representative would be there, also did not follow up with the voice mail. After much consideration and speaking to the representative. I withdraw my compaint and Candidacy for the office of Mayor and the City of Conyers. (sic)"

Ware had filed a lawsuit Sept. 24 alleging that the city had not properly served her notice on an administrative hearing on her qualifications as a mayoral candidate due to conflicting residential addresses.

The administrative hearing was held Sept. 20. Ware was disqualified as a candidate on Sept. 25

The city then filed a counter lawsuit alleging that Ware's case was "abusive litigation" that was "made with malice and without substantial justification," according to a letter sent by the city on Sept. 27. A hearing was set to take place Oct. 2 before Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford.

During the Sept. 20 hearing, the City Elections Supervisor Pat Smith reviewed evidence on various addresses Ware had submitted to the Department of Drivers Services, Newton County tax commissioner and tax assessor for a Homestead Exemption on her property taxes, and to Newton County courts for her divorce proceedings.

According to City Attorney Mike Waldrop, Ware was sent a letter via certified mail about the hearing on Sept. 17 to all three addresses in question - at Peaks Landing in the city, Coal Shovel Trail in Rockdale County and Mt. Zion Road in Newton County. Waldrop said he had also sent a letter Sept. 9 about the issues.

City staff had called and talked with her on Sept. 18, arranging to meet after 12 p.m. at a Gees Mill Road location to deliver the letter. But when the officer went there at 12:45 p.m. to deliver the letter on Sept. 18, no one came to the door. A car that a neighbor identified as belonging to Ware was at the location and a light was on in the building. The neighbor said he had never known the car to be there and Ware not to be there at the same time. Waldrop said the city had called the number where they had reached her previously and left a message with the time and date of the hearing.

A mayoral candidate must be a registered voter in the city and have lived in the city for at least a year.

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