Tue., April 19, 2011 3:00pm (EDT)

Savannah Council Pays Member $50K
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Mary Osborne asked her fellow members of Savannah City Council to pay her for flood damage to her house.  They gave her $50,000.  Some question whether the amount would have been as high if she weren't on council.  (photo City of Savannah)
Mary Osborne asked her fellow members of Savannah City Council to pay her for flood damage to her house. They gave her $50,000. Some question whether the amount would have been as high if she weren't on council. (photo City of Savannah)
Savannah city council members paid one of their own $50,000 for flood damage.

Many of the council member's claims fell outside a legal time limit for getting paid.

Like others in her neighborhood, Mary Osborne's house gets flooded in a bad rain.

And like other citizens, she filed a claim, saying the city drains aren't doing their job.

But since much of the damage occurred outside a claims window -- and Osborne is a council member -- some question if others would've received the same amount.

Osborne says, she didn't receive special treatment.

"I didn't get as much as I should have gotten," Osborne says. "I was not totally made whole from what I had to spend on repairs to my house."

The state Attorney General's office wants information about a private meeting council had to discuss the matter.

Osborne says, she didn't sit in on that meeting and could've gotten a larger settlement if she had sued the city.

"First and foremost, I'm a citizen with all the rights of every other citizen," Osborne says. "Many, many people have shared claims and none of those settlements were ever revealed."

Council members plan to discuss drainage repairs when they meet on Thursday.