SPRINGFIELD, Ga. -- Springfield Mayor Jeff Northway has filed a counterclaim against not only the city but also five members of City Council both in their individual and official capacities in a months-long dispute to try and remove him from office.
In the counterclaim filed last week in Effingham County Superior Court, Northway, through his attorney, Charles Herman of Bignault & Carter of Savannah, asks for compensatory and punitive damages, and that the court prohibit the defendants from removing the mayor from office based on Section 45 of the city charter and to declare it unconstitutional.
The claim states the almost 100-year-old city charter section cited by the defendants for removal is unconstitutionally overbroad, violates due process rights and is legally unenforceable.
The defendants cited in the lawsuit include Councilmen Troy Allen, Jeff Ambrose, Charles Hinely, Allen “Butch” Kieffer and Kenny Usher.
Councilman Max Neidlinger is not among the defendants.
Northway claims the defendants have also failed to prove any of the allegations lodged against him, all of which have been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated by both the city’s Ethics Committee and city attorney.
The allegations, being already decided through administrative channels, mean the issue can not be re-litigated, Northway claims. Northway also asks for a jury trial in the matter.