Attorney won't file lawsuit to rehire highway workers before commission's March meeting

J. H. Osborne • Feb 22, 2014 at 9:54 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Bruce Shine, the attorney representing six former Sullivan County Highway Department workers who want their jobs back, said Friday he and his clients will not take the issue to court until after the Sullivan County Commission’s March 17 meeting.

That’s the date a majority of county commissioners voted last month to set as the day the commission will appoint an interim highway commissioner.

“I’m not going to file a lawsuit until after the county commission meets in March. We originally said we were going to give the county the chance to correct the situation. And we believe in its infinite wisdom, the county commission will resolve the matter by electing someone other than Mr. Manning to serve out the term until September.”

Bobbie Manning has been serving as successor to retired Interim Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer since last month.

The Sullivan County Commission has sole authority to appoint a new interim highway commissioner to serve until voters elect a new highway commissioner in August.

Manning became successor under a state law, which requires a letter of succession — drafted by the county highway commissioner — to be kept on file to name someone to temporarily run the department until the county commission appointment of an interim.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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