Perry Co. Fiscal Court approves hiring an attorney to represent Ethics Commission

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

"I will make a motion to hire Bradly E. Moore," said Perry County Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble at a specially called meeting on Nov. 2.

The Perry County Fiscal Court approved the motion to hire an attorney after Sheriff Les Burgett appealed a ruling that the employment of his wife in the sheriff's department was wrong.

Bradly Moore from the Boehl Stopher & Graves Lawfirm will now be handling the representation for the Ethics Commission, Colston Cornett, Chairman, Yvon Allen and Ray Jones.

"They feel like it is unethical according to the ethics policy and procedures it is unethical for her to work up there," said Noble.

The official complaint against the commission was filed Oct. 27 by Burgett with the help of Attorney James Hampton. The complaint states that the ethics commission did not do the right thing when trying to change the decision that was made to let his wife work in the office in September of 2009.

That decision was made by Stan Begley, Oramius Napier and Allard Watts, Jr., who were all members of the commission at the time. Jones, Allen and Cornett are now the comprising members of the commission and they ruled in September of 2011 that Lenora Burgett could not work in the office. According to Hampton, they did not appeal the decision made two years ago.

"There is nothing to indicate that they are making a different decision based upon the hours and circumstances of lenora burgett's employment changing. they are just making an opposite decision based on the same facts and the same law, so the, and the time to have done that if it was warranted would have been to appeal from the first decision, but there was no request for that to be changed by anyone," said Hampton.

Perry County Attorney John C. Shackelford said in the meeting that he would not be able to represent either side due to conflict of interest and that is why the fiscal court had to approve the hiring of an outside attorney.

"They are an independent body and need to remain independent in their decision making capacity and you don't want to have that overlap. i don't think the county attorney could effectively represent the ethics commission," said Shackelford.

Shackelford said he could not comment on any pending litigation. Attorney Bradly Moore declined comment at this time as he said he has not yet received all documentation on the case.

Hampton said that Burgett is hoping to get the issue resolved as soon as possible even if the ruling that he is in violation of the code is true.

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