Attorney accuses Norcross marshal's office of harsh enforcement of law

NORCROSS - The former Norcross city attorney addressed the mayor and council Monday night with strong accusations of misuse of power by the city marshal's office.

Representing two Norcross businesses, Peter Boyce said a total of 62 citations were issued to his clients - 23 in one day. One of the businesses had signs placed around the city advertising condominiums for sale. The signs had balloons on them. Each sign earned that business a separate citation, and each balloon earned an additional citation.

"These citations were mailed to my client, not delivered in person," said Boyce. In the time it took the citations to be delivered via mail to the offender, additional citations were issued for the same signs and balloons. According to Boyce, this harsh enforcement of city ordinances is the result of the city's recently adopted zero tolerance policy.

The marshal's assistant in these cases was discourteous and rude to the business owners, violating his oath to serve the people of Norcross, Boyce said.

"If you drive the businesses out, you lose the tax base," Boyce told council members. The attorney added that the issue is not with the Norcross police department, just the marshal's office.

Norcross resident Rob Buck, who was cited for having an illegal Dumpster on his property while replacing the roof on his historic home, said at Monday night's meeting that councilman Michael Lovelady is directly responsible for the recent targeting of homeowners and business owners with the over-the-top zero tolerance enforcement of ordinances. Lovelady denied Buck's accusation.

City employees

recognized for service

Mayor Lillian Webb recognized several Norcross employees Monday night for their "honest and loyal" service to the city. Walter Walker and Fred Leggitt were both thanked for 25 and 15 years of service respectively in the Public Works Department.

Richard Sudderth, who has worked for the city since 1995 and filmed all council meetings for cable television viewing, retired last month. Webb, who grew up with Sudderth in Norcross, expressed her gratitude for both his service and his friendship.