Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Ind. Gov't. - County must pay legal fees for lawyers of judges seeking a court mandate, regardless of the outcome
Last December the ILB quoted a story in the News&Tribune that began:
In September, the Clark County Council denied a request from Circuit Court Presiding Judge Vicki Carmichael to fund the creation of two new positions in the county’s probation department. The council voted 6-0 Monday to contest a lawsuit filed by Carmichael against the council in Indiana Supreme Court requesting a mandate of funds to pay for the new positions.Today Charlie White reports in the Louisville Courier Journal:
“I believe that, unlike some other mandates, I believe we have a chance of contesting this one,” said County Council Attorney Scott Lewis.
Before it appoints a special judge to the case, the Indiana Supreme Court has ordered mandatory mediation between the involved parties, to be completed no later than Feb. 15, 2014.
Clark County taxpayers will shoulder more of a burden this year after the recent mediation of a lawsuit the county courts filed last year to fund two new probation officer positions.
Money from the county general fund is being used to pay the roughly $31,000 salary of one of the two newest probation officers, and on Monday night the County Council voted 6-1 to use money from its riverboat gambling fund to pay $14,000 in attorney fees.
The council in August tabled a request for the two positions from Clark Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael, head of the county court system.
It turned down the request three months later, prompting Carmichael to file the suit.
County Council attorney Scott Lewis told members they are required by Indiana law to pay legal fees for lawyers of judges seeking a court mandate, regardless of the outcome. The other probation officer position, which has an identical salary, is being funded through probation user fees.