G’boro mayoral changes on hold

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

If Vanessa Hill is to become mayor of Greensboro, it will not happen immediately.

Montgomery County Judge William Shashy recently issued a stay on his decision in the case, which means though Hill was declared the winner, she will not be allowed to take office as long as current Mayor Johnny B. Washington has an appeal filed with the Alabama Supreme Court.

Hill’s attorney, Walter Braswell, said he is already in the process of taking action to put Hill in office and prevent Washington from using city funds to pay for his appeal.

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“There are three things we can try to do,” Braswell said. “We can ask them to expedite the appeal, reverse Shashy’s stay and try to prohibit them from using municipal funds for their appeal.”

Contact has also been made with the State Supreme Court Clerk, Braswell said, to get things on the fast track.

Before any action can be taken, all records from January’s proceedings must be filed by the court reporter. But because there were only two days of testimony, this should not be a lengthy process, he said.

The entire appeals process is expected to take anywhere from six to eight weeks. However, Braswell said if the appeal is turned away, he does not expect Washington to give up. The next step will be federal court, a step Braswell said, will force Washington to use his own money.

After two days of testimony and multiple delays, Hill was declared the winner of the 2004 election.

Hill was declared the winner by a 664-614 margin after 148 ballots cast for Washington were declared illegal. But, despite the decision, Washington remains in office.

Washington’s attorney, William Pompey, wasted no time in filing an appeal with the Alabama Supreme Court, which prevented Hill from immediately taking office.

Pompey could not be reached for comment.