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Dispute over building has Harlan County officials in court

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

The Harlan County Sheriff's Chaplain Corps filed an injunction against the county and Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, all centered around a county-owned building off Highway 119.

The Chaplain Corps said their property inside was illegally tampered with. The county judge said they were served with an eviction notice.

On one side, there are members of the Harlan County Sheriff's Chaplain Corps.

On the other, you have County Judge Joe Grieshop and the Fiscal Court.

The judge sent the corps an eviction notice back in February telling them to get their belongings out of a county-owned building off Highway 119.

Papers filed earlier this week accuse the county of cutting the locks on the building in July and tampering with items belonging to the Chaplain Corps.

One county employee was allegedly fired by the judge for saying he "didn't feel right" about working in the building with those items still in there.

Attorneys were not in the courtroom for very long before Special Judge Roderick Messer when they left to try and work things out.

"After negotiations with the defendants and their council we arrived at an agreement," said Robert Melvin, Attorney for the Chaplain Corps.

Specifics of the agreement were not disclosed. Attorneys said they are still working on that.

"I'm sure emails will fly back and forth all afternoon," said Melvin.

Neither Judge Grieshop nor his attorney wanted to talk to Mountain News on camera Friday concerning the court hearing.

The Fiscal Court has a company that wants to rent the building and bring a number of jobs to the area. They said that is why they need the Chaplain Corps out.

Attorneys said as part of the agreement the injunction will be dismissed, but a lawsuit filed by the Chaplain Corps is still pending.


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