FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Today, a proposed measure to reduce Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall's operating budget by $200,000 failed to pass, signaling a continued battle. Despite the setback, the legislation is far from dead.
The majority of commissioners expressed a desire to hold Commissioner Hall accountable for a recent nearly million-dollar sexual discrimination settlement imposed by a federal judge on the county. The case, initially brought to light by FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor, involved Hall's chief of staff.
During the meeting, Hall's absence was conspicuous, with her budget taking center stage. A frustrated Fulton County resident demanded Hall's resignation, stating, "Commissioner Natalie Hall just cost taxpayers $902,000."
While the commission meeting began with several residents expressing support for the legislation to cut Commissioner Hall's budget, concerns were raised about the potential impact on staff members not involved in the controversy.
Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, the sponsor of the legislation, explained that she developed the idea after receiving complaints from residents about the recent $902,000 settlement related to Hall's sexual affair and the termination of her former Chief of Staff, Calvin Brock.
Notably, Hall's absence did not go unnoticed, and Commissioner Marvin Arrington defended her, opposing the budget reduction. He argued that such a cut would adversely affect Hall's district and staff members who were innocent parties.
Despite the opposition, several commissioners emphasized the need for Hall to face consequences for her actions. District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis expressed concern about the unprecedented nature of the situation and the embarrassment it brought to the board and staff.
Freshman Commissioner Bridget Thorne highlighted Hall's apparent lack of remorse, stating, "I was struck by the lack of remorse. If I make a mistake and cost taxpayers money, you bet I will apologize."
The motion to reduce Hall's budget ultimately failed with a vote of 3-yes and 2-no. Chairman Robb Pitts expressed concerns about the legislation saying, "I 100% support the intent of the legislation and plan to vote for it, but it needs to be more specific."
Commissioner Arrington suggested letting the voters decide Hall's fate, as she is on the ballot in May. The issue is set to return to the commission's agenda in two weeks, indicating that this contentious matter is far from resolved.