The Cobb Ethics Board on Tuesday dismissed a complaint chicken activist Joseph Pond of east Cobb filed against Commissioner JoAnn Birrell.
This is the second time the board dismissed a complaint by Pond against Birrell. The first was in December.
Birrell sat in the audience with her husband, Dave, and attorney, Fred Bentley Jr., as the board took just minutes to reject the complaint in a 5-0 vote. Pond was not in attendance.
In December, the board rejected Pond’s charge that Birrell violated the county’s ethics code by failing to show impartiality on a variance involving backyard chickens.
Lynn Rainey, attorney for the ethics board, said the only thing different from the original complaint was that Pond charged Birrell with false swearing this time. But that charge is outside the board’s authority and it is up to the district attorney to investigate, should he choose to do so.
Rainey said Pond had the opportunity to appeal the board’s December decision to Cobb Superior Court within 30 days of that vote. But since Pond decided not to appeal, and his second complaint is no different from the first, the original vote to reject his complaint was binding.
“I feel relieved that the board saw fit to dismiss it,” Birrell said after the meeting.
“Like I said before, it’s frivolous claims. It has no merit, no substance to it at all, and it’s wasting taxpayers’ money for me to have to hire an outside counsel when there’s obviously nothing here of any substance.”