Hamilton County Commission Votes Against Covering County Attorney’s Legal Fees

Image Credit: HamiltonCountyTN / YouTube

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor’s $60,000 in legal fees will not be paid after a 7-4 vote against the payment by the County Commission on Wednesday. 

County Attorney Taylor filed suit after County Mayor Weston Wamp sent him a termination letter and he refused to step down. 

County funds were issued to Wamp’s attorney Barret Albritton in the amount of a $24,500 payment. After spending $25,000 without approval from the commission, Mayor Wamp had to get approval from County Commission to spend more. This was approved. 

The vote to continue supporting the Thomas and Thomas firm was agreed upon. Commissioner Steve Highlander said paying $30,000 to the Thomas firm and then not paying anymore was an option. No action has been taken on this suggestion.

County Attorney Taylor hired Judge Neil Thomas and is obligated to pay him, no matter the circumstances. 

Commissioner Jeff Eversole said, “For the life of me I’ve never seen a situation where I feel like we as a commission are being held hostage. We are being held hostage between a county attorney, who I respect, and a county mayor, who I respect. It’s kind of like we are the bankroll. We can’t be the bankroll.”

“This is getting expensive. It keeps growing and growing. We don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars on something we agreed 11-0 was right. We’ve said 11-0 it shouldn’t be this way, so why should we pay for it?”

Chairman Chip Baker told the Chattanoogan, “Six weeks ago this should have been over. Should have been over. Yet this drags on and on and on. It’s a distraction. Look at us right now. As long as they’re getting paid, this moves on. Frankly, I’m beyond upset. We’ve been doing the business of the county, but not the right way.”

County Mayor Wamp says he has tried to narrow down the court case and not keep it going any longer. 

Commissioner David Sharpe, a Democrat, asked Mayor Wamp at the end of the meeting why other counts in the lawsuit had been dismissed

Wamp did not answer Sharpe’s question on whether or not he would appeal an adverse ruling. 

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