CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. - A disagreement over open meetings laws has landed a city councilman in court.
Temple City Councilman Richard Bracknell faced a Carroll County Magistrate Judge Tuesday morning in a warrant hearing. The judge must decide whether there is probable cause for a grand jury to review the allegations against Bracknell.
Citizen journalist Dawn Adkins filed a report with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office after she said Bracknell pushed her video camera after a public meeting March 28.
"I never thought it would blow up like this, but you know, I usually don't have a problem," said Adkins.
Adkins said the city council adjourned their meeting, but continued to talk among themselves inside City Hall. Adkins decided to record the conversation and video shows Bracknell arguing with Adkins to turn the camera off.
"When someone misbehaves there [have] to be consequences for those actions," said Olivia Smith, Adkins's attorney.
Neither Smith nor Bracknell's attorney, Cynthia Daley, would discuss the facts of the case, but Daley did admit that things can get contentious.
"I think there's a lot of politics that go on in Temple if you watch any of their coverage and the social media involving Temple," said Daley.
This is not the first time someone has questioned how the city runs public meetings. Last week, the city and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr signed a memorandum of understanding after the state found multiple violations of the Open Meetings Act and the Open Records Act in 2015 and 2016. The state fined the city $1000.
Carroll County Magistrate Judge Alton Johnson tried to get the parties to work out their differences, but they could not reach a compromise.
The warrant hearing will pick up again on June 14.