Alzheimer’s disease may have been a factor in the unintentional resignation of former DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Linda Carter, according to her lawyer.
The office of Gov. Nathan Deal received a resignation on March 24 purported to be from Carter.
“Effective at five o’clock p.m. on March 24, 2011, I resign the Office of Clerk of Superior Court of DeKalb County,” the five-sentence letter states. “It has been a great privilege to serve in this capacity for over ten years.”
No reason was given for Carter’s departure and no notice was given for the resignation.
The letter named Debra DeBerry, Carter’s chief deputy clerk, to the fill the remainder of the position’s term.
Carter’s attorney, Lee Parks of Parks, Chesin and Walbert, said his client did sign the resignation letter and is considering a lawsuit against the county to get her job back.
“She did not know what she was signing,” Parks said, adding that Carter signed lots of documents every day. However, Carter did not write the resignation letter or ask for the letter to be written.
Although he did not know who wrote the letter, Parks said DeBerry urged Carter to sign it.
Carter is being treated for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, which probably came into play with the unintentional resignation, Parks said.
“These folks are easy to take advantage of,” Parks said.
He would not comment on whether Carter’s condition affected her job performance.
The governor’s office is not planning to pursue the matter, a spokesperson said.
“The governor accepted Ms. Carter’s resignation,” said Jen Talaber, a communications specialist in the governor’s office, in a statement. “Anything further regarding this matter is judicial and the governor’s office is not involved.”
Carter, a former criminal law clerk in Harris County, Texas, moved to DeKalb County in 1988. In 2000, Carter was first elected to the clerk position after defeating incumbent Jeanette Rozier. She was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. Carter would have been up for re-election next year.
DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said county officials are looking into allegations by Carter that the resignation letter to the governor was fraudulent.
DeBerry would not comment on the matter and Carter did not return multiple calls to her home.