Conyers claims former mayoral candidate Olivia Ware's lawsuit is 'abusive litigation'

CONYERS — City Attorney Michael Waldrop has formally asked former mayoral candidate Olivia Ware to drop her lawsuit against the city, saying the suit constitutes “abusive litigation.”

On Friday, Waldrop sent to Ware a letter asking her to “immediately dismiss each and every count” of her lawsuit against Conyers. If she refuses, Waldrop said, “we will pursue any and all remedies available” under the state’s abusive litigation statute. This includes filing a lawsuit against Ware seeking damages, costs and attorney’s fees, the letter states.

Ware filed her lawsuit against the city of Conyers on Sept. 24 in reaction to an administrative hearing held on Sept. 20 by the city’s election superintendent. That hearing resulted in a finding that Ware is not eligible to run for mayor in the Nov. 5 General Municipal Election.

Elections officials found that Ware was not eligible to vote in the city of Conyers, as is required for any candidate seeking election to a municipal post.

Ware qualified on Aug. 30 as a candidate for mayor using as her address 213 Peaks Landing in Conyers. She stated in the Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit that she has been a legal resident of Rockdale County for two consecutive years and a legal resident of the city of Conyers for one year.

However, based on voter registration records and voting history, Ware listed residing at addresses in both unincorporated Rockdale County and in Newton County within the last year. Ware had voted in Newton County several times since 2008, including in the General Election in November 2012.

She changed her drivers license and voter registration on Aug. 16 to Rockdale County and then changed her license again on Aug. 30 to an address within the city limits.

Ware claimed that she was not given proper notice of the Aug. 20 administrative hearing and filed suit against the city.

On Friday, city attorneys filed an answer and counterclaim to Ware’s lawsuit.

In its answer, the city defends the many steps it took to contact Ware, including sending the notice of the administrative hearing by both certified and regular U.S. mail to all three of her addresses, as well as attempting to hand-deliver the notice of the hearing at the time and place Ware herself requested.

The city also denies all of Ware’s claims based on them being “nonsensical,” “improper,” “frivolous,” “groundless in fact” and “vexatious.”

A hearing has been scheduled in the matter for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford.