County wraps up case in service dispute trial

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Attorneys for Gwinnett County wrapped up their case Wednesday in a trial with local cities.

The final witness for the government was a government auditor, Harrison Tillman, before evidence from depositions was read before the judge.

Then, attorneys for the governments of 14 of 15 local cities began to present their case.

After a brief argument over Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charles Bannister taking the stand with minutes notice, officials said the chairman would be available the next day.

Instead, witnesses included Loganville City Manager Bill Jones and Fire Chief Danny Roberts, Buford City Manager Bryan Kerlin and Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen.

Countering testimony from earlier in the week by Gwinnett's fire officials, Roberts said his department is well-equipped to handle any incident inside the city limits.

For years, the Walton County Fire Department has given aid to the city at every incident on the Walton side of its boundaries, and last week the mutual aid agreement was extended to allow the Walton firefighters to help at incidents that occur in the Gwinnett boundaries.