The last bit of litigation for the Effingham Industrial Development Authority has fallen by the wayside, much to the joy of IDA members, one in particular.
“We are litigation free,” IDA Chief Executive Officer John Henry said.
Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Gates Peed denied the city of Springfield’s request for a declaratory judgment in its suit against the IDA, challenging the legality of Springfield City Councilman Charles Hinely’s seat on the IDA board.
“There is no issue with Mr. Hinely serving on the IDA and with the city of Springfield,” Henry said.
In his ruling, Judge Peed said Springfield’s request was based “solely on a possible, even if probable future contingency rather than a specific and actual set of circumstances.”
“I’m relieved, very relieved,” Hinely said Thursday. “It took a lot of time to get it done. I’m glad it’s over with.”
Hinely’s position on the IDA was called into question in 2006, with the city filing a suit on whether he could represent both bodies.
“I’m glad it didn’t jeopardize the seat in any way,” he said.
Hinely had offered to resign his post on the IDA.
“But the board didn’t want that,” he said. “I would have been willing to step aside.”