The Newton County Board of Commissioners discussed Tuesday night a threat of litigation from the East Georgia Land & Development Company.
County Attorney Tommy Craig said he was “furiously researching” the county’s options, which were presented to the board in a closed executive session following a budget hearing. No vote was taken following the session.
In October 2014, after more than 17 years of litigation, Georgia’s Supreme Court ordered the county to hand over a zoning compliance letter to East Georgia, the first step in the company’s pursuit of a private landfill on its large plot on Lower River Road.
East Georgia has demanded a second letter from the county stating that a sanitary landfill is not in violation of the Solid Waste Management Plan in effect on June 25, 1997.
Craig said the second letter was “a more complicated matter,” but declined to go into detail.
Last week, East Georgia CEO James Baker announced that he would seek to build the landfill and sue the county for damages after a tripartite settlement agreement between the county, East Georgia, and a private entity called Green Hill P3 fell through.
Green Hill P3, which has been negotiating with the county since before the Supreme Court’s ruling, had proposed leasing and operating the landfill from the county. The county, in turn, would have used $8.5 million in payments to buy back the plot from East Georgia, which would have received additional compensation from Green Hill through a combination of cash and equity in the company.
Green Hill is a limited liability limited partnership whose sole partner, according to the Office of Secretary of State Corporations Division, is National Management Company, Inc.
Baker is also listed as the CEO of National Management Company Inc. According to Green Hill’s Certificate of Limited Partnership, the National Management Company’s address is 3350 Riverwood Parkway Suite 1800, Atlanta—the same as East Georgia’s.
Baker and Lassiter Inc. and the National Management Company also share Baker as a CEO, as well as a CFO, secretary, and P.O. Box in Morrow. The same P.O. Box is listed as the principle office address for Green Hill. Green Hill and East Georgia share a registered agent.
Craig said he was “not familiar with the internal structure” of Green Hill and was unaware of Baker’s role in the company.
In an email to The News, Baker wrote: "Green Hill is a Partnership and National Management Company, Inc. is the General Partner of Green Hill as required by East Georgia to provide security until the TRI PARTY AGREEMENT would have been finalized at which time National would be replaced."