Tim Coley has made accusations that our outside counsel (Frank Jenkins) falsified records regarding certain Planning Commission minutes. I asked Frank Jenkins to investigate the allegations, and explain. Here is his response:
I want to set the record straight; there were no falsified documents filed by the city of Albany in the Coley Musgrove suit challenging the denial of a subdivision plat. The suit was filed by Coley Musgrove and the civil action number is 06CV2990-2. The following account may be verified by looking at the file on record with the court.
Coley Musgrove appealed the planning department’s denial of the subdivision plat application to the Albany Dougherty Planning Commission. The first hearing before the Planning Commission was conducted on November 2, 2006. The Planning Commission, upon hearing the appeal, upheld the planning department’s denial. Coley Musgrove then filed a suit for mandamus to the Dougherty Superior Court requesting that the court order the issuance of the permit for the proposed subdivision.
On January 11, 2007, the superior court held the first hearing on the case. At that time Coley Musgrove moved the court to grant the mandamus on the basis that they had only two days notice of the Planning Commission hearing which was not sufficient time to prepare. Note that Mr. Coley was present at the November 2nd Planning Commission hearing, but he was not represented by counsel. The court did not rule at the hearing and allowed additional time to file the record of the proceedings before the Planning Commission and any other documents deemed appropriate. Both the city and Coley Musgrove were allowed to file documents.
On February 1, 2007, the city filed the record of the preceding before the Planning Commission. In that record filed with the court are the official minutes of the Planning Commission hearing on November 2nd which were approved by the Planning Commission at its meeting in December 2006. The minutes start on page 4 because that’s the first page on which the Coley Musgrove appeal is mentioned. There were other matters in the minutes regarding other appeals. These minutes are accurate and are the actual minutes approved. In addition to the minutes, we filed a verbatim transcript of the hearing before the Planning Commission. The transcript was prepared from the tape recording of the hearing. (I previously sent you a copy of the record including the transcript filed with the court.) The first item is the verbatim transcript of the Planning Commission hearing which was certified by Elizabeth G. Kelly, assistant city clerk. The transcript is accurate and reveals exactly what happened at the hearing. It should be noted that Coley Musgrove’s attorney sent a letter to the court requesting that the court consider the transcript in making its decision in the case.
I filed a brief with the court on January 25, 2007, in response to Coley Musgrove’s contention that they did not have sufficient notice of the hearing before the Planning Commission. With that brief, I filed unofficial minutes which were prepared to give more detail about what happened at the Planning Commission meeting. These were prepared before we had the verbatim transcript prepared. These unofficial minutes accurately show what happened at the Planning Commission meeting. I invite anyone to compare the unofficial minutes with the transcript which will show that these minutes are completely accurate. (I understand there is a contention that there is no transcript of the hearing, but the court file will show that a certified transcript was prepared from the tape recording of the hearing.)
The court entered its order on February 12, 2007, ordering the Planning Commission to conduct another hearing on the subdivision plat appeal since the court found that Coley Musgrove had not been given enough notice of the first hearing. The Planning Commission again denied the appeal after the second hearing. Ultimately, the trial court found in favor the Coley Musgrove and ordered the city to grant the subdivision plat permit.
There was never any falsified document filed with the court, nor were any minutes of the Planning Commission falsified to mislead the court. I stand by the record now on file with the court. The minutes filed with the court may be compared with the verbatim transcript to confirm the accuracy of all documents filed with the court.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Frank Jenkins
Our website can now be found at: www.joandb.com.
Frank E. Jenkins, III, Esq.
Jenkins, Olson & Bowen, P.C.
15 South Public Square
Cartersville, Georgia 30120-3350
Fax (770) 387-2396
24 Drayton Street, Suite 1000
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Fax (912) 236-7250