Connie Carter, who served 12 years on the Pisgah Town Council before being ousted by other council members earlier this year, has her job back following a court order Thursday.
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham ordered that Carter be restored to her position, adding that “efforts to oust [Carter] as a duly elected member of the Town Council of the Town of Pisgah to be null and void, contrary to law and any such attempts are hereby cancelled, set aside and held for naught.”
Earlier this year, Pisgah Mayor Leamon Smith, along with council members Dwight Meeks and Andrew Meeks voted to remove Carter, while council members Kathy Woodfin and Linda Smith voted against.
In addition, in that same 3-2 vote, the council approved appointing Dwight Griffith to Carter’s seat.
Following her removal, Carter filed a lawsuit against Smith, Andrew Meeks, Dwight Meeks and Griffith. In his order, Graham wrote that the defendants “shall not directly or indirectly, acting alone or in concert with others perform any acts or omissions to interfere with the performance by Connie Carter of her official duties as a duly elected member of the Town Council of the Town of Pisgah under penalty of contempt.”
A source familiar with situation, said Carter asked her fellow council members in March if she should step down to deal with personal issues, including the death of her husband. The source said council members agreed that she could take three months off instead.
By law, council members have 90 days between meetings.
The council changed a meeting from Monday to Tuesday during Pisgah High School’s graduation in May. Carter, who said she was not informed of the change, showed up on Monday.
Carter will be at the town council meeting on Monday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m.
“Judge Graham is a trusted and respected jurist,” said Woodfin. “I am certain he came to his decision after careful consideration of the law, the facts of the case and the arguments on both sides. Now the town of Pisgah needs to move forward and look to the problems of the town and work together to solve those problems.”