Sullivan County Commission signs off on legal bills from sheriff’s lawsuit

J. H. Osborne • Jun 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM


The Sullivan County Commission on Monday signed off on payment of legal bills totaling nearly $143,000 for both sides in Sheriff Wayne Anderson’s lawsuit that sought more county funding for the budget cycle that ends June 30.

Anderson and County Mayor Steve Godsey ultimately reached a settlement of that suit — filed by the sheriff last year — earlier this year.

County taxpayers foot the bill for everything.

Godsey told the commission he is certain the county has received the final invoices from both sides.

The county’s budget director wouldn’t go that far, but said the $142,861.68 already paid is obviously the bulk of the bills — but with lawyers, you just can’t ever say never.

A synopsis of the invoices paid out by the county’s accounting department shows: Pectol & Miles, the law firm hired by Anderson, has been paid $52,041.02; an expert in law enforcement staffing needs, hired by Pectol & Miles to support Anderson’s case, has been paid $10,150; Logan-Thompson PC, the Cleveland-based law firm hired by Godsey, has been paid $62,082.44; and Hunter, Smith & Davis, LLP, hired as local support to assist Logan-Thompson, has been paid $18,588.22.

Citing public records laws, the Times-News has requested copies of the itemized invoices for those taxpayer-paid bills from the county’s accounting office.

What the commission approved Monday was the way in which the payments were funded on the county’s books — they were listed as an expense under an account code for “county commission — litigation” and the county commission signed off on using general fund “fund balance” money to pay the total.

In other action Monday, the commission named Kit McGlothlin, a builder and gospel singer, to fill out the term of 9th District Commissioner Wayne McConnell, who died last month. McGlothlin, nominated for the post by McConnell’s fellow 9th District commissioner, O.W. Ferguson, will serve out the unexpired portion of McConnell’s four-year term, which runs through the next County Commission election in August 2014.

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