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Albany prepares to sell L'Jua's

Lajuana Woods

Lajuana Woods

ALBANY, Ga. -- Even as the city of Albany readies to sell the restaurant formerly owned by Lajuana Woods, a former member of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority board, the doors remain open and the food and alcohol flowing.

Woods, who is facing a bad check charge filed by the city, attempted to file bankruptcy and challenge the city's attempts to foreclose on the property. Those challenges were dismissed by a judge earlier this month, essentially handing the property over the city of Albany.

But that hasn't stopped patrons from using the Radium Springs Road facility, thanks in part to the slow civil court process the city is undergoing to officially remove Woods from the site.

"The way I understand it, we have ownership of the property, but to legally remove her and the employees from the property we have to go through the proper channels in court," Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said Thursday.

The City Attorney's Office is preparing a "notice of sale" to officially place the property on the market in the hope of reclaiming some of the $200,000 that was loaned to Woods to open the restaurant by the city's Community and Economic Development office.

Woods has been released on bond after the city Treasurer's Office said she passed a bad check for more than $4,600 in an attempt to pay deliquent excise taxes owed for the sale of alcohol during the period of April-December 2012.

City finance officials also say she hasn't paid excise taxes on alcohol sold this year.