Clayton DA files to revoke Lampl's bond

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson filed a motion, Thursday, to revoke former Morrow City Manager John Lampl's bond, alleging that he intimidated, and tried to influence, witnesses in the state's case against him.

Lampl's attorney, Brian Steel, denied his client did anything wrong.

"He was in no way attempting to influence or intimidate any witnesses," said Steel. "He was simply filing an ante litem notice as required by law by the City of Morrow."

Steel said he represents Lampl on criminal charges that include conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition, perjury, and six counts of creating fire reports, falsely showing businesses at Olde Towne Morrow had required sprinkler systems.

Lampl represented himself in sending the notices to Mayor Jim Millirons, City Manager Jeff Eady, City Clerk Evonne Browning and Human Resources Director Rebecca Zebee.

District Attorney Lawson said Lampl sent notices to the officials on Nov. 14, and Dec. 12.

In her motion, Lawson alleges that the notices were not sent in a timely manner.

"[State law] requires that a person seeking monetary damages to give notice to a municipal corporation within six months of the injury, or else the person is prohibited from prevailing on a cause of action," the motion states. "Both [of] the defendant's notices were untimely served."

The motion goes on to allege that by sending the notices, Lampl threatens or intimidates possible witnesses in the criminal case against him.

Anyone intending to file civil action against a governing entity must put them on notice by sending them an ante litem letter, according to state law. The entities then have 30 days in which to respond. The nature of the damages alleged by Lampl was not immediately known.

Browning responded Thursday afternoon to an open records request from the Clayton News Daily seeking a copy of the notices.

"We are in receipt of your request. We will have a response for you within three business days, which is Dec. 20," stated Browning in an e-mail.

Lawson is seeking a Jan. 12 hearing on the motion to revoke Lampl's $80,000 bond.

"The hearing is set for January, and we will be there," said Steel.

Lampl has a long history with Morrow, having served on the city council 20 years ago, worked as city manager, then executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, before being elected to the city council in a March 2010 special election.

Three months later, Lampl faced allegations of intimidation and was removed from the council in May 2011.

Lampl, 46, was arrested in June on charges that he lied about Olde Towne Morrow, a now-closed commercial development near Southlake Mall. Prosecutors also alleged that he conspired with others to avoid the contract-bid process, during devlopment and construction of the complex.