Former mayor of Porterdale and current Porterdale Council Post 3 candidate Wayne Maddox may face a challenge to his eligibility to run for city office.
Porterdale City Manager and Elections Superintendent Tom Fox said he and City Attorney Tim Chambers are presently looking into Maddox's eligibility to run for office after receiving several phone calls from concerned citizens.
Fox said the question of Maddox's eligibility centers on the issue of money owed by Maddox to the city of Porterdale.
"It appears so far from the research that it has to do with delinquent tax money that may have been adjudicated." Fox said.
Fox said Maddox owes the city between $5,000 and $6,000 dollars from a court judgment several years ago over the matter of unpaid health insurance premiums and unpaid city water bills from the Village Inn which Maddox owns.
"I am checking into whether or not the fact that he owed the city money, would that impact his ability to run," Fox said.
According to Covington News archives a resolution considered by the Porterdale City Council in 2002 included allegations that Maddox, as mayor, had wrongfully placed his wife on the city's health insurance policy at the city's expense. The insurance premium allegation was ultimately dropped from the adopted resolution which called for a hearing into allegations of malfeasance, misfeasance and neglect of duty.
Maddox resigned at the end of 2002 before a hearing could take place.
Maddox could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Fox said if he decides an eligibility hearing is in order, it will be held shortly as the election to fill the vacant Post 3 seat is set to move forward on Feb. 5.
"Hopefully, within the next couple of days I will know more about whether I need to proceed with any type of hearing," Fox said. "I haven't started anything formal at this point."
Chambers declined to comment on the progress of his research into Maddox's eligibility citing attorney/client privilege.
A real estate developer and the owner of a recycling business called L.B. Recycling, Maddox was sued by Washington Street resident Quebell Parker and her children in 2002 for environmental damages caused by L.B. Recycling which adjoins their property.
An October 2006 decision by the United States Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit ordered a new trial on damages in district court after an earlier district court decision in favor of the Parkers was successfully appealed by Maddox due to the fact that the Parker children did not live on the property during the relevant time period.
According to the Eleventh Circuit opinion, in August 2002 the Northern District of Georgia found in favor of the Parkers on all counts and ordered Maddox to pay a total of $1 million in damages to the Parkers and to pay civil fines for his violation of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to the government.