published Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Ousted Fort Oglethorpe official Charles Sharrock seeks to retake City Council seat

Charles Sharrock reads documents during a meeting of Fort Oglethorpe City Council members in November. Three women testified that Sharrock had inappropriately hugged them while they were doing their jobs. He was voted off the council but is appealing.
Charles Sharrock reads documents during a meeting of Fort Oglethorpe City Council members in November. Three women testified that Sharrock had inappropriately hugged them while they were doing their jobs. He was voted off the council but is appealing.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Fort Oglethorpe has sought a restraining order to prevent Charles Sharrock from trying to retake the council seat he was ousted from on Nov. 27 for sexually harassing female city employees.

Sharrock planned to show up at Monday's City Council meeting to reclaim his seat and vote on agenda items, City Attorney Robert Stultz wrote in a motion filed on Feb. 7 in Catoosa County Superior Court.

The restraining order wasn't necessary, Stultz said, because Sharrock, who's represented by Ringgold, Ga., attorney Renzo Wiggins, agreed to wait until the court hears the appeal of the ouster.

"I think we've got it resolved," Stultz said. "Basically, we're just trying to get a court date, and then we'll have a hearing."

Sharrock's appeal in Catoosa County Superior Court argues that the unanimous vote by the four other councilmen to remove him from office violated Sharrock's right to due process because the notice said the hearing would be only for an investigation, not removal from office.

Sharrock didn't break the law when he tried to comfort Detective Tammy Davis, who had wrecked several police vehicles, when he put his arm around her, rubbed her back and kissed her on the jaw, Wiggins argued.

"It was not done in private nor in secret, but was done in a doorway of City Hall in the obvious presence of another city employee who was in clear, open sight," Wiggins wrote. "This is simply not a substantial act justifying removal from office."

Three female city employees said Sharrock sexually harassed them. But Wiggins' suit states that the incident involving Davis was the only one during Sharrock's current four-year term.

Wiggins, who formerly was city attorney for Ringgold and Catoosa County, declined comment other than to say, "We think we have a good case."

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township¹s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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