Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Attorney To Update Commission On Lawsuits

Putnam County attorney Jeff Jones will be meeting with members of the county commission next week to update them on the litigation that the county is involved in. Officials say the meeting is not open to the public because it falls under an exemption to the state's Open Meetings Law, which allows governmental bodies to discuss lawsuits with their attorney. Jones told members of the county planning committee this week that Chancellor Ron Thurman has recused himself from hearing one of the lawsuits involving the county. That's the one where a court is being asked to determine whether or not members of the county election commission are technically state employees or county employees. According to Jones, there is case law that indicates they may be state employees, but others say that case law refers to Administrators of Election, not election commission members. At issue in that case is whether the county or the state will be paying for defense of a lawsuit against three members of the county election commission. Officials say the bill for legal services in that case is now more than $80,000, but the county would be responsible for just $50,000 of that before their insurance kicks in.