The McLemore Cove Preservation Society is dropping its lawsuit against the government of Walker County, Georgia, in which the group claimed that government officials had been secretly “conspiring to install a large-scale chicken slaughterhouse” in the area.
The group claimed county officials are in talks with Pilgrim’s Pride and was offering the company tax incentives to open a plant there, despite the fact that neither officials from Pilgrim’s Pride or the county confirmed that discussions had been taking place. Walker County leaders further stated that it is common practice among government entities at all levels nationwide to sign non-disclosure agreements in cases in which negotiations with potential employers take place.
The organization, in dropping the lawsuit, told News Channel 9 that it felt it had fulfilled what it set out to accomplish.
Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield had been critical of the organization filing the what he viewed as a frivolous lawsuit, posting a video message on Facebook in which he said the lawsuit and “public relations smear campaign” was designed to prevent the county’s ability “to attract great paying jobs and generate new tax revenues to benefit” the county’s citizens. He added that the lawsuit would also be an unnecessary expense for taxpayers to meet.
“The folks suing all of us are doing so with full awareness that we are in a financial distress and will be forced to use your tax dollars to defend this kind of petty, theatrical nonsense,” Whitfield said.
Although the lawsuit has been dropped, McLemore Cove Preservation Society had also launched a protest campaign against Pilgrim’s Pride, the second largest broiler company in the United States. That campaign is called “Don’t Slaughter Our Cove,” and the group says it is continuing its efforts to make sure that the protected cove does not become the site of new industrial activity.