Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will file his own appeal in the latest Bibb-Monroe county border dispute case, in which a judge ordered Kemp to accept a controversial 2009 survey.
Kemp will file a notice of appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals within the next month and plans to continue representation through the state Attorney Generals Office, said his spokesman, Jared S. Thomas.
Kemp said in a statement the decision by a Fulton County Superior Court judge from earlier this month was clearly at odds with existing law and the executive function of the Office of the Secretary of State. Thankfully, Georgians enjoy a judicial appeal process that gives us recourse in these situations.
The Fulton County judge, Kelly A. Lee, said Kemp failed to resolve the border dispute, forcing her to order the secretary of state to use a survey completed by Terry Scarborough. Lee wrote in her order that Kemps attorneys admitted that no boundary line, other than that depicted by the Survey, could be set based on the record evidence.
Lee said in her Jan. 23 order that the secretary of state is specifically charged with determining the county boundary line. He failed to do so here.
Lee also blocked Bibb County from joining the case. Bibb County officials said they didnt even know the case existed until Lee held a hearing and said she would order the survey to be used. Lee previously heard and rejected arguments by Monroe County in a related case that included Bibb County.
Bibb County officials say they will also appeal Lees ruling.
Scarboroughs survey would shift portions of the county line well south of where its currently marked, affecting infrastructure, homes and businesses including a portion of the Bass Pro Shops parking lot. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual property taxes are also at stake.
The exact location of the border has been disputed since at least the 1940s.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.