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No new trial on Snellville liquor

SNELLVILLE -- A local judge will not allow a new trial on Snellville's liquor laws.

Judge Mark Lewis, who struck down a City Council decision to allow Sunday liquor sales without a voter referendum earlier this year, denied motions to consider new evidence in the case.

The new evidence, an affidavit from Chairman Charles Bannister, who was a legislator when he authored the law the city cited in its decision, could have been presented at the first trial, the judge said.

Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer said he was not surprised by the decision, but he said the motions were a necessary step in appealing the case.

"It was an uphill battle anyway," he said.

Planning to discuss the topic in an executive session Monday night, Oberholtzer said the city would likely take the case to the Georgia Supreme Court, explaining that he believes the courts should acknowledge the statute that allows cities in large counties to forego a referendum if a county referendum had already been approved.

Lewis's order came Friday, a day after the City Council voted unanimously to hold a referendum on the issue July 20. Oberholtzer had said both avenues would be pursued.