To that end, on Tuesday he filed a complaint against Birrell with the county’s seven-member ethics board, which is chaired by Mike Patellis.
Birrell referred comments to Lynn Rainey, attorney for the ethics board.
Rainey said he was reviewing the documents to determine whether they met the threshold of a complaint. The ethics code requires anyone who files a complaint to file affidavits supported by personal knowledge of the topic at hand to prevent someone from filing without substance, he said.
“What I have been forwarded by the clerk thus far is not supported by any affidavits based on personal knowledge, so I question whether a complaint has been filed,” Rainey said.
At the same time, Rainey said Pond has informed him he intends to send more information.
Rainey said he expects to know more as to when the ethics board would consider Pond’s accusations by early next week.
The maximum penalty for an ethics violation is reprimand or censure, he said.
Quoting from the county’s code, Pond said, “No officer shall give preferential treatment to any person.”
The county’s code enforcement department cited Pond last year for keeping a dozen hens on his half-acre property. The county requires two acres to keep chickens.
He maintains — and has included a number of emails he says support his argument — that Birrell collaborated with his neighbor, Carole Kell, mother of Cobb Superior Court Judge Tain Kell, to prevent him from obtaining a variance.
“She failed to show impartiality,” Pond said. “She gave preferential treatment to Carole Kell by working against my variance request.”
Pond said the results of an Open Records Request show that when it came to people opposing backyard chickens, Birrell alerted them by email to the opportunity to speak out on the matter during the public comment portion of the commission’s meeting. Yet she remained silent when supporters of backyard chickens emailed her.
“She told people who opposed the hearing they had the opportunity to speak,” Pond said. “She should have shared the same information with those that supported chickens and those that didn’t support chickens. She didn’t show impartiality.”