ATLANTA — A judge has removed a Georgia mayor from office, declaring he had exceeded term limits he fought to put in place.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall ruled Thursday that Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, who was first elected in 1997, was ineligible to run in 2013, when he was last elected and ordered him removed from office immediately. But Schwall said the order would be stayed if Wood appeals.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Wood, in a statement, said he plans to appeal so he can finish his term, which ends in December.

Michael Litten, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Wood, filed the lawsuit.

Wood pushed for term limits but argued they were only valid going forward. Litten said the term limits should apply retroactively.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,