In two notices of intent to take civil action against Morrow officials, a former city manager and city councilman alleges a conspiracy and systematic destruction of his reputation, and demands to be made whole.
John Lampl, II, 46, is fighting a criminal indictment stemming from allegations of lying and conspiracy in connection with his previous job as Morrow's city manager. He was removed from his position as a city councilman, by the City Council, in May, following allegations of intimidation.
Lampl 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. He is out on $80,000 bond.
However, Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson filed a motion Thursday to revoke that bond. Lawson alleges that contact with the officials, who are also potential witnesses in the criminal case, constitutes intimidation and threats by Lampl.
Defense Attorney Brian Steel represents Lampl in the criminal case. He said the notices should not be construed as threatening or intimidating. "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."
Lampl sent city officials the notices in November and December, accusing them of taking illegal actions against him. The letters were released Monday to the Clayton News Daily under the Open Records Act.
The November letter specifically addresses the May vote.
"Such action denied John Lampl due process, was arbitrary and capricious, and was only accomplished by adopting rules, ordinances and procedures for removal well after the alleged conduct took place and well after the complaint was filed," the letter states.
"Such action took place in spite of deliberate acts by employees of the City of Morrow to restrict John Lampl's ability to property defend himself."
Lampl accuses the city of denying him legal counsel, and denying him documents to conduct his own research, and to defend his actions.
"The charging of over $422,000 for access to public records that should have been available to John Lampl as a public official, citizen of Morrow, and ultimately as the accused, was negligent, in violation of Georgia law, and was a deliberate retaliatory attempt to deny John Lampl the ability to properly defend himself," the notice states.
The notices cast Lampl as being a whistleblower willing to "showcase poor financial management, private utilization of public resources and self-enrichment by a member of the City Council."
Lampl accuses the city of engaging in a systematic scheme to destroy him.
"Such acts are a continuation of two-and-a-half years of retaliatory efforts to destroy John Lampl in his public and private capacity," says the notice. "John Lampl has been denied due process and was subject to a conspiracy to limit his constitutional right to seek public office, public sector employment, private sector employment, his constitutional right to liberty and happiness."
Morrow City Manager Jeff Eady said the city has no response to Lampl's notices. He referred all queries to Lawson's office.