County Commission Will Pay Taylor County Attorney Legal Fees


Rheubin Taylor

The County Commission voted 7-4 on Wednesday not to pay $60,000 in legal fees for District Attorney Rheubin Taylor after cutting additional money to the District Attorney’s office. Weston Wamp.

County Attorney Taylor filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court after the county’s new mayor sent a termination letter and refused to resign.

$24,500 was previously paid from county funds to Wamp’s attorney Barrett Albritton. After spending $25,000 without the commission’s approval, the county mayor had to go to the County Commission for permission to spend more.

The Commission agreed to continue making payments to his lawyer, John Konvalinka. The expected amount was listed at $25,000.

The vote to continue paying Thomas and Thomas’ company received yes votes from Commissioners David Sharpe, Greg Beck, Joe Graham and Steve Highlander. Commissioners Mike Chauncey, Jeff Eversole, Lee Helton, Warren Mackey, Gene-o Shipley, Ken Smith and Chip Baker voted no.

Commissioner Sharpe said, “Are we asking him (County Attorney Taylor) to defend our decisions and pay out of his own pocket? Is everybody okay with that. I don’t mind that. What we did on a 7-4 vote was to ask our attorney to defend our resolution, but to do it on his own dime.”

The Commissioner of Highlander said that there is only one opportunity to finance the approximately $30,000 that Thomas’s company must pay and not pay any more money to move forward. He said that would be roughly the same amount the county paid for Wamp’s expenses. However, no action was taken on this recommendation.

Commissioner Mackey said, “We have authorized the mayor to spend an additional $29,000 in county funds. But at the same time, Mr. Taylor – is he paying out of his own pocket?”

The District Attorney said he hired former Judge Neil Thomas “and I have to pay him from whatever I can get.”

Commissioner Mackey said that a “15-year-old child” would know that Taylor’s contract is valid.

He also said, “The mayor has advisors and I don’t think they are serving him well, I don’t think they are giving him good advice. jobs and they say yes to the mayor instead of giving him good advice.

“My concern is that Hamilton County’s money is being used like a bank. I suspect people will ask us to raise taxes. I won’t.”

Commissioner Eversole said, “In my life, I’ve never seen a situation where I feel like we’re being held back as a commission, we’re being held back between a lawyer.” of the province, I respect him, and a mayor of the province, this is him. I respect that, just like we are a bank, we cannot be a bank.

“This is getting expensive. It’s still growing and growing. We don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars on something we’ve agreed to 11-0 right. We’ve said 11 -0 should not be, so why should we pay?

Commissioner Graham said, “I don’t understand why we went from 11-0 to this. Our district attorney hasn’t started the prosecution and he hasn’t started defending himself. It’s not an attack on the attorney’s office. It’s an attack on us. The administration says we don’t know what we’re doing. (Taylor’s) legal fees were incurred by the executive branch.”

Commissioner Graham, the mayor of Wamp County, said he would honor the commission’s decisions, and it was believed the matter was over. “We’re going to lose our hammer if we do this (not including Taylor’s legal costs).”

Chairman Baker said, “The last six weeks were supposed to be over, they were supposed to be over, but this thing drags on and on, it’s frustrating, look at us now, while they salary, this is what goes on. .I’m actually more than happy. We were doing county business, but not the right way.”

Judge Thomas said the county’s decision not to pay Taylor’s legal bill “will not prevent me from providing a vigorous defense to a dispute initiated by the mayor and maintained by the mayor.”

The Mayor of Wamp County said that he has canceled many parts of the court case, but the only decision is whether Taylor’s contract is valid. He said, “I’m doing everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t get narrow.”

According to him, the district attorney does not have a statutory term but a political appointment. He said, “I’ve never had a lawyer tell me we’re wrong.” He said it was a “quiet dispute” that should not take long to reach a conclusion. A hearing will be held in early March before Chief Jeff Atherton.

Near the end of the meeting, Commissioner Sharpe, a Democrat, asked County Mayor Wamp (a Republican) why he dismissed other charges in court “without prejudice” – the meaning it can be retrieved.

The Wamp County Mayor said Sharpe’s question was “politically motivated and completely inappropriate.” He said he didn’t expect an answer.

He also did not answer Sharpe’s question about whether he would appeal a negative decision in the case.

This is the resolution voted down by the commission:

A DECISION AGAINST DECISION No. 123-12 AS BEFORE
THIS COUNCIL CREATES CONSTITUTION TO BENEFIT A COST
BASED ON THE COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE RECORD FOR PAYMENT I
THOMAS & THOMAS LAW FIRM IN THEIR NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
ATTORNEY RHEUBIN M. TAYLOR IN THE COURT OF THE
THE COUNTY’S ATTEMPT IS TO PROVIDE SERVICES
A RHEUPIN M. TAYLOR AS HAMILTON COUNTY ATTORNEY.
THEREFORE, by passing Resolution No. 123-12, this county legislative body agreed that the professional services of the Honorable Neil Thomas and the law firm of Thomas & Thomas will be provided to District Attorney Rheubin M. Taylor in accordance with and the court in between. the Mayor of the District, said the District Attorney, and this County Commission regarding the efforts of the Mayor of the District to terminate the professional services of said District Attorney shall be paid as provided and bills from the general budget of the District; and
WHEREFORE, the Attorney General of the State of Tennessee believes that the process described above for payment of legal services violates Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-9-407(b)(2) because it does not can say a story. amount to be appropriated from the general budget of the District; and
BECAUSE Attorney Neil Thomas has advised this body that, currently, his estimate of the cost of his services reaches the point where he thinks his professional services are needed at sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00) ), which this body considers appropriate and should be approved. .
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT DONE BY THIS CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THIS COUNTRY IN MEETING THEREFORE:
That Resolution No. 123-12 is amended to provide that the general budget of Hamilton County is amended by appropriating the sum of sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00) to be used for the payment of legal fees and expenses go as the law grows and charges. firm of Thomas & Thomas representing District Attorney Rheubin M. Taylor in the present litigation between the Mayor of the County, the District Attorney, and this Commission of District regarding efforts by the Mayor of the District to terminate the professional services of said District Attorney; this amount of money can be revised if Attorney Tomasi gives it to this body according to any additional amount of money that may be needed for the fulfillment of this service; and all other provisions of Resolution No. 123-12 remains as previously adopted.
BE SURE TO KNOW WHEN THIS DECISION APPLIES TO YOU
AND AFTER SAYING, THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS IT.

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