Former Superior Court Clerk Linda Carter, who claims she was tricked into resigning during a period of dementia, is still fighting to regain her old job.
In an affidavit filed earlier this month, Carter stated that she is under medical treatment for a condition that causes temporary episodes of dementia.
“I am generally able to comprehend my surroundings and to understand the consequences of my actions,” Carter stated.
In March, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office received a letter of resignation which 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 stated. “It has been a great privilege to serve in this capacity for over ten years.”
Debra DeBerry, Carter’s chief deputy clerk, was named to the fill the remainder of the position’s term.
Lee Parks, Carter’s attorney, has said the former clerk is being treated for the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
As clerk, Carter stated that she was able to carry out her job “with reasonable accommodations, which included a mutual understanding with my senior staff that, during episodes of dementia, my senior staff members would serve as delegees for my duties.
“I believe that I could continue to perform my elected duties as clerk of Superior Court with or without reasonable accommodations,” Carter stated.
In one court document, Parks stated that “a letter of resignation is invalid to relinquish a public office unless said letter was executed with intention to relinquish the public office.
“Furthermore, an invalid letter of resignation does not create a vacancy of office; therefore, an order by the governor appointing a non-elected person into such office is void upon its face,” Parks said.
Carter has filed a petition for quo warranto, a legal maneuver in which DeBerry would have to prove her claim to be the rightful holder of the office of Superior Court clerk. In the petition, Carter claims “she was removed from that office in a fraudulent and unlawful manner by being induced to sign a document that she did not know” was a resignation letter.
Carter has also filed a petition for writ of mandamus to compel the official recognition of her status as the rightful elected clerk.
In a response to that petition, DeBerry’s lawyers argue that Carter should not be reinstated because her “dementia and her inability to understand the consequences of her actions would subject her to removal from office because of her mental incapacity.”
DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey is expected to address the motions during a hearing on July 26.