This is the same method used in 2003 when former Mayor
James H. Rainwater died before the election.
Council appointed David Sumner interim mayor.
According to the VDT 31 August 2011:
At that time, Councilman David Sumner assumed the role of mayor, but had
to resign his council seat to do so. He had already qualified to rerun
for his seat in the November 2003 election, was re-elected to his seat
and stepped down as mayor at the end of 2003, re-assuming his duties as
a newly elected councilman at the beginning of 2004.
If they don’t appoint Vickers interim mayor tomorrow,
the Valdosta City Council will probably appoint somebody else.
According to the VDT today:
Vickers is among those being considered for appointment by council,
along with Dexter Sharper and David Sumner, who are also former council
members. Vickers pointed out that he did not submit his name for
consideration, but rather it was mentioned in conversations with other
The case originally surfaced after 15 Valdosta citizens were arrested
and charged with violating statute 16-11-34 (a), which provides “a
person who recklessly or knowingly commits any act which may reasonably be
expected to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, gathering or procession
is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Charges came after the group allegedly
disrupted a Valdosta city council meeting in May 2005. Calle Fielden
and Leigh Touchton, two of those arrested, appealed to the courts on
the grounds that the statute under which the citizens were charged was
unconstitutionally vague and broad.
On April 21, 2005, Rev. Floyd Rose addressed the council
Someone posting as
Mayor John Fretti of Valdosta responded in a comment to
Mayor Fretti, please point us to where on the web is the
video you mention. -jsq
Update 12:13 AM 23 April 2011: Mayor Fretti confirms (through three different channels) that this post was by him:
THat was my post. an attempt to reach out and help explain a few things. the video, as was al evidence in the case was exchanged durig the discovery part of the motion. the video should be with that.
I have asked him whether an open records request would produce the video.
Back to the original post. -jsq
With all due respect to Leigh’s version of the arrest – and it is all
on video, it happened in the end by way of self – executing mode. After
repeated requests for the group to relinquish the podium and rose stating
each time that they will not and we “must do what we have to do”. the
Mayor asked if there was any objection from Council or city manager or
attorney if WE allow Chief Frank Simons to approach the crowd and do
what he sees necessary to allow the meeting to continue efficiently and
effectively. There was some discussion and then John Fason (Cmdr.) asked
if anyone wants to go to jail – to follow him. and they all did – no
cuffs, no restraints. Peacefully. That’s it. and all on video for all
to see. With respect to the charges filed, they were old STATE charges and
were ruled out as overbroad and (something else). That was fine. There was
an appeal by the solicitor General and again the old STATE laws were ruled
overbroad and (something else). as they should have been. We have our own
local laws and ordinances now that have been tested strong in court.