GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — A lawsuit was filed Friday by the Glynn County Board of Commissioners challenging two Senate bills seeking to defund the county's police department.
The lawsuit calls into question the constitutionality of Senate bills 38 and 509. Both bills want to abolish the Glynn County Police Department. The lawsuit says the bills allow for county assets to be transferred through "an unlawful referendum and election process in violation of the Georgia Constitution and state election law."
"These bills collectively seek to place a special election question on the ballot to be heard the same day as the 2020 November General Election in Glynn County on the issue of whether to abolish the Glynn County Police Department and transfer its functions and assets to the Sheriff of Glynn County," the lawsuit says. "SB 509 is a binding referendum on that issue."
The lawsuit wants to enforce procedural requirements regarding calling and administering special elections like in the case of Senate bill 509.
The lawsuit filing says it's not a question related to the merits of abolishing the police department nor does it question the ability of the department's current sheriff.
On Monday. Aug. 24, the Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration announced Police Referendum SB 509 will have its own special election to be held on Election Day, Nov. 3, separate and apart from the general election. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill after the 90-day mark needed to lawfully include the bill on the general election ballot, the BOE said.
This came as the police department faced backlash for months over its handling of the Ahmaud Arbery death investigation.