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City Council to consider appealing election contest fee

Friday, June 12, 2015, 1:25 pm News Flash Archive

The Greenwood City Council has on its agenda for next Tuesday's meeting a resolution considering filing an appeal of the Leflore County Circuit Court's May decision barring the city from paying legal fees to lawyers fighting against the election contest between Sheriel Perkins and Mayor Carolyn McAdams.

The city council had voted to hire attorneys to represent the city in the election contest. Those attorneys then took the side of Carolyn McAdams in trying to defeat the lawsuit. Indeed, the city hired the same attorneys as had already been representing McAdams.

But Circuit Court Judge Carey-McCray ruled that the city cannot spend taxpayer money to defend a private election contest lawsuit between two candidates.

The Court held that for the city to do so "would unquestionably be the expenditure of public funds for a private purpose.... In this case, what the City of Greenwood has resolved to do is financially assist Mayor McAdams in marshalling evidence and retaining legal services to defend against Ms. Perkins' claim...."

The Court therefore barred the City of Greenwood from paying attorneys' fees and costs in the election contest.

Now, the city council has the following item on its agenda for the Tuesday meeting:

"A resolution of the City Council of the City of Greenwood to approve/not approve appealing order and opinion filed May 26, 2015, in Sheriel F. Perkins vs. Mayor and City Council of Greenwood, ET AL, Leflore County Court Cause No. 2014-0074(CM)(l)."

It is unknown whether the council will in fact choose to file an appeal, or allow the matter to drop.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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