Goddard's appeal dismissed

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling that dismissed a wrongful termination suit against the city of Albany brought by the former head of the Albany Civic Center, court documents show.

Mattie Goddard was fired by City Manager Alfred Lott in February 2006 because he said he was dissatisfied with her performance. She appealed the decision to Lott, who upheld his decision to terminate her, court documents show.

Goddard then filed suit against the city in Dougherty Superior Court who summarily dismissed the case against the city, which prompted Goddard to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

"We are glad to see it come to a resolution," Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said. "It would appear that our management procedures have been justified."

Lott was out of town Thursday and unavailable for comment.

In their unanimous decision, the Supreme Court justices ruled that Goddard's contentions that the trial court erred in its decision lacked merit and that Lott acted within the confines of the city charter when he terminated Goddard, saying that department heads for the city are "at-will" employees and can be terminated at any point.