February 4, 2021 – Bacarra Mauldin is ready and willing to return to work "immediately" at the Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) as the Executive Director/CEO, according to her lawyer, Atty. Ed Buckley of Buckley Beal of Atlanta. How that will play out is unknown at the moment.
Mauldin states that she does not want the employees to be made to feel uncomfortable, as all of the legal issues surrounding her employment are yet to be resolved.
In a letter today to the Board members of CAT, Buckley stated that based on the Feb. 2 letter from the Chatham County Attorney's Office to the Georgia Attorney General, Tabitha Odell was not officially appointed to the CAT board on Jan. 15. Therefore, the board's vote on Jan. 26, in which Odell participated - and then seconded the motion of Helen Stone to fire Mauldin - was moot.
“It’s all annulled,” Buckley said, in an interview late Thursday. “My client was reforming CAT – not re-forming CAT, but addressing long-standing issues at CAT.”
“She was following appropriate steps to address things that the Board had done that were blatantly illegal,” he added. Her legal defense includes that she was a whistleblower, under the definitions of Georgia laws, for which some members of the Board took action to remove her because they were embarrassed by what she was uncovering and addressing.
The City of Savannah’s two appointees to the CAT Board, Alderman Detric Leggett and citizen Clinton Edminster, did not vote to fire Mauldlin, and have both said that she did nothing that deserved removal.
But a new issue has arisen today, confirmation that CAT Board member Pete Liakakis never resigned his seat on the CAT Board. No one should have been appointed to replace him. His term ends June 2021.
Sources state that part of the difficulties between Stone and Mauldin began back in October when Liakakis would not vote for Stone as Vice Chairman; Liakakis supported Clinton Edminster, who ultimately was named CAT Board Vice Chairman.
Edminster has sought for the board to meet in a Special Called Meeting as soon as possible to respond to Buckley’s legal letters, and to address the issue of the illegal meeting on Jan. 26, but only Chairman Deidrick Cody can call a meeting.
Cody has told Board members as recently as today, “We’re looking at dates for a Special Meeting.”
Edminster states that there are at least five Board members who are willing to meet immediately.