Washington, Georgia Mayor Bruce Bailey Reminded Again of Authority Limitations by Attorney Stewart Duggan

Published on 28 March 2024 at 10:55

On March 27, 2024 Mayor of Washington, Georgia and Nurse Practitioner at MedNow Clinics, Bruce Bailey, sent an email to attorney Stewart Duggan that indicates he is still considering the removal of Angela Booker and Alvin Jones from the Washington Housing Authority Board.

Duggan represents the Housing Authority on behalf of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). You may recall Duggan from the hearing regarding Bailey's attempt to remove Angela Booker and Alvin Jones from the Housing Authority Board on February 23, 2024. In the email, Bailey said he had not received information he had requested prior to the hearing, from the director of the housing authority. This request was made before the hearing but after he sent letters to Booker and Jones about their removal. This indicates Bailey made the decision about the removal, prior to seeing the evidence he is now requesting.

At that hearing, Duggan stated several times that the mayor and city had no authority over the board because it is a federally funded, autonomous board. He also stated that Bailey provided no evidence for removal of Booker and Jones and that if he proceeded with removing them, the matter would be taken to superior court and Duggan would file a lawsuit for violations of open records and open meetings law. Duggan also stated the hearing was conducted with the purpose to bring forth evidence and it was the only time to do so. Duggan had a stenographer present to record the hearing and Booker and Jones were sworn in. Duggan asked them questions under oath and presented evidence into the record. Bailey would not be sworn in and provided no evidence at the hearing rather, he did verbally state what the allegations were.  You can watch video recordings of the hearings on the Washington Wilkes Informer YouTube Channel.

At the conclusion of the hearing, it was said by Duggan that no additional evidence would be entered. Bailey stated the hearing had officially concluded. City attorney Adam Nelson did not state disagreement with the fact that additional evidence could not be entered after the conclusion of the hearing. It should be noted that Booker and Jones requested documents from the mayor, prior to the hearing, regarding the allegations brought against them by the mayor, but those documents were not provided. The mayor also now refuses to provide documents regarding this matter to the Washington Wilkes Informer stating it is a pending legal matter.

Duggan's response to Bailey's email is another firm reminder of his opinion on the limitations of Bailey's authority in this matter and that Bailey himself may be personally liable if the matter is taken to superior court. This is Duggan's response to Bailey's email to him which you can see below. A copy of the actual email exchange, in which Duggan copied the Washington Wilkes Informer and other news outlets, can also be seen at the end of this article. The attachments in the email are the transcripts of the hearings for Booker and Jones :


Email response from Duggan to Bailey on March 27, 2024 at 5:27 PM


Mr. Bailey,


Thank you for your email.  Going forward I recommend you consider first consulting with your City Attorney before sending me emails.  Nonetheless, please accept this email as a response to your email dated March 27, 2024.  (See below).   


At the outset, the Commissioner Removal hearings, pertaining to Mr. Alvin Jones and Ms. Angela Booker that occurred on February 23, 2024, have been concluded, and the record was officially closed.  (See attached transcripts).  Why do you think Georgia law expressly required you to maintain a record of the proceedings?  See O.C.G.A. § 8-3-53.  The answer is so that a Superior Court may later review the actual proceedings to determine whether any decision to remove a commissioner was based upon competent evidence presented at the hearing, or whether you, as Mayor, acted arbitrarily or capriciously, or for improper reasons, like – for example – your creating your own made-up standards (timely paying a utility bill) that would warrant a Court’s vacating, quashing, or reversing any decision to remove.  In addition, the Court may also review the sufficiency of your charge letter to determine whether you conducted a hearing by ambush, or whether your charge letter was vague and lacked any specific details of the allegations you were relying so as to ensure that the board members were given notice of how to defend themselves.  Of course, your removal notice letter was vague, provided no details or specifics, and failed to place Mr. Jones or Ms. Booker on notice of what you were actually alleging they did wrong.  Bottom line is that you may not now seek to supplement the record once it was closed, and you may not now consider or rely upon any information or evidence outside the record of the proceedings that were closed on February 23, 2024.  Doing so would violate the removal statute, would violate the due process rights of Mr. Jones and Ms. Booker, and would be actionable.   


You, as Mayor of the City of Washington, must make your decision now, based upon the facts and evidence presented during the hearings that took place on, and which were closed on, February 23, 2024.  And as I trust you recall, incredibly you completely failed to introduce any evidence during the hearings.  You failed to introduce the first document, and indeed you admitted during the proceedings to refusing to being placed under oath to testify. You also admitted to failing to produce the very Urban Redevelopment Authority Board (“URA”) contract (which alleged contract is completely unrelated to the City) that you referenced and sought to rely upon during the removal hearing of Mr. Jones.  You were a witness to the alleged URA contract matter (which was not even referenced in your charge letter to Mr. Jones), yet you refused to testify and refused to produce or introduce the alleged contract.  I believe a Superior Court would be interested in learning of your frivolous and abusive your tactics.


For your convenience, I have attached copies of transcripts of the proceedings that took place before you, as Mayor, on February 23, 2024.  At the conclusion of each hearing you (acting as Mayor) acknowledged that the hearings were concluded or closed.  Again, you may not now consider or rely upon any evidence or other matters outside the record.  Doing so would constitute a violation of the law, would constitute a violation of our clients’ due process rights, would be reversible error, and would be actionable against you personally, in my opinion.


Please also understand that you are completely mistaken in contending that O.C.G.A. § 9-11-26 gives you any rights whatsoever.  This statute is found within the Georgia Civil Practice Act and only applies to matters that are in litigation before the State Courts in Georgia.  The idea that O.C.G.A. § 9-11-26 applies here or conveys to you any rights to investigate is completely misguided and patently absurd.  Nonetheless, that you are actually requesting the Washington Housing Authority to now produce “[a]ny other pertinent documents, reports, or known items where commissioners or board appointees were inefficient in their performance,” is quite telling; demonstrates that you are grasping at straws; evidences that you never had any legitimate basis for conducting the two removal hearings; clearly shows that you have wasted valuable taxpayer resources; and shows that you quite obviously have an improper and illegitimate motive for seeking to remove either Commissioner.


Lastly, please know that if you render a decision removing Ms. Booker or Mr. Jones, we will immediately file a petition for review before the Superior Court, and we will show the Court your email below and this response.  We will then seek to take your video-taped deposition under oath.  I recommend you carefully consider your actions and conduct as related to this matter.


Thank you,

 I. Stewart Duggan


Email from Bailey to Duggan March 27, 2024 3:09 PM



I have sent this request for records several times and have not received any feedback other than the executive director advising me to send further requests to you. This is the previous request sent below before the hearing (see below). 


I have also found no documentation in regard to Mrs. Booker disputing the bill from the city. If Mrs. Booker has any documents this would be greatly appreciated so I may view them. 

I would like to conclude this investigation as soon as possible. Also, if possible, I would like to review the procurement policy. 



As it is my right to research and investigate pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-26, I am requesting that the following information/documents be furnished to me: 


Bylaws and rules and regulations governing the housing authority. I have received the by-laws. 


A list of all training requirements for commissioners and training records for the last 5 years. 


All meeting minutes from any board meeting, called meeting, or special meetings for the last 3 years. This should include the special called meeting in March which minutes should have been approved by now. 


A list of all board meetings attended by commissioners for the last 5 years. 


A list of numbers (not names) of resident's selections and evictions for the last 5 years. 


All lists of walk-throughs conducted, and findings performed by commissioners or housing authority personnel for the past 5 years. 


A list of number of residents that went through any Housing Authority education, community service, or applicable requirements deemed as being a resident. 


Any times during the last 5 years where maintenance or yard care was either not performed, unable to be completed due to not having personnel, or agreements. 


Any other pertinent documents, reports, or known items where commissioners or board appointees were inefficient in their performance. 



Thank you,

Bruce Bailey



What do you think of the way this matter is being handled? Do you believe this is a worthwhile investment of taxpayer resources in attorney fees? Do you think it should be a priority for the city of Washington? What impression do you think it gives others about our city? Share your comments below.




Add comment


There are no comments yet.