Ficklin-Schlesinger election flap may affect swearing-in of new Macon-Bibb government

jgaines@macon.comNovember 21, 2013 

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert’s plan to get new Macon-Bibb County officials sworn in before the consolidated government’s Jan. 1 start may not include City Councilman Larry Schlesinger, whose 26-vote victory over Councilman Henry Ficklin for a seat on the new commission is under challenge.

At a joint meeting between most commissioners-elect and the task force that’s been working on consolidation, Reichert -- who is mayor-elect of the new government -- told the group that his legal petition to allow an early swearing-in should come up for a hearing Dec. 6. As the consolidation charter stands, the commission wouldn’t be sworn in until Jan. 14, leaving a two-week gap.

Ficklin stood up to say that he’s filed suit seeking a rematch with Schlesinger, and asked if Reichert would agree to have the swearing-in apply only to uncontested winners.

“You know that the law is: after someone is sworn in, all challenges cease,” Ficklin said.

Reichert said he wanted to remain neutral in the dispute. Since his petition is coming before Macon City Council for endorsement, language to protect Ficklin’s suit could be added then, he said. Alternatively, Ficklin could ask the courts to add it, Reichert said.

Ficklin said he’d rather add the caveat in council.

For more on this story return to or read Friday’s Telegraph.

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