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Baig's leaving the focus of City Council

PORTERDALE — The City Council was expected to discuss the resignation of former Porterdale Municipal Court solicitor Qader Baig during its regular meeting Monday night.

Baig, who also serves as Rockdale County attorney, submitted a letter of resignation to Mayor Bobby Hamby dated May 23. In the letter, Baig states that his resignation was effective upon receipt of the notice.

The City Council met with Baig in closed session on May 26, but no official action followed the meeting. Neither has the council taken action on the resignation letter. Baig declined to comment on the closed-door discussion, and telephone calls seeking comment from him have not been returned.

Baig resigned following the council's decision on May 2 to advertise Requests for Qualifications for the Municipal Court solicitor and judge positions, as well as the private probation service provider. Based on discussions during the open session at that meeting, some members of the council were dissatisfied with the way Municipal Court had been handled in general and specifically with the manner in which a DUI case against a Conyers Police Department officer was disposed in April. That dissatisfaction was at least part of the reason the city decided to look for other court personnel.

The Conyers officer, arrested in Porterdale in January on a charge of DUI, was allowed to plead to the lesser charge of reckless driving. The Georgia State Patrol trooper who made the arrest agreed to the plea negotiation.

In his resignation letter, Baig wrote that city officials he had spoken with agreed that the Conyers police officer's case was handled appropriately.

"The mayor, city manager and chief of police, in independent meetings, have all acknowledged the case was handled properly," Baig wrote. "The recognition of the case's appropriate disposition by city officials after discussion and review of the facts and law in this matter, further serves to echo and to reinforce an identical opinion expressed by the agency which issued the original citation."

Porterdale City Manager Bob Thomson said Monday he anticipated the council would discuss Baig's position again in closed session Monday night. "I think they will probably have some sort of announcement afterward," he said.

Thomson said the RFQ for the solicitor position has been posted on the town's website for a couple of weeks; however, no responses have been received.

Thomson also said the court session scheduled for the first week of June was postponed.

"(Baig) told us he wasn't going to be there, so those cases were rescheduled until the next session at the end of the month," Thomson said.