Image Credit: Hamilton County Mayor’s Office / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
After filing the initial report in November, Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp is narrowing the counterclaim he filed to focus on County Attorney Rheubin Taylor’s contract and its legitimacy.
With the action taken, Wamp states that he hopes to see a solution to the matter before March 6th, which is the next scheduled hearing.
Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Wamp wants the court to find that only the mayor is able to appoint the county attorney and that Taylor’s contract is unenforceable.
His counterclaim states that the county attorney is an at-will employee, according to the Hamilton County Employee Handbook.
Wamp and a new, 11-member group of county commissioners took office on Sept. 22, not long after Hamilton County commissioners had approved the reappointment of Taylor on June 16.
Taylor sued the mayor in Chancery Court, hoping to preserve his health benefits, which have since been restored. He is now asking that the court declare that his existing contract is valid.
The contract is dated through June 2025. The contract can be terminated by either party with good reasoning with a six-month written notice, or sooner by mutual agreement. Termination of the contract can occur if a majority of the County Commission wants to do so with agreement from the mayor. If the mayor has no interest in terminating the contract, two-thirds of the County Commission must vote to terminate it.
Wamp filed his response to Taylor’s suit Nov. 30.
In the filing, Wamp asked the following of Taylor: forfeit his accrued time off, disgorge profits from his “shadow law firm” and return compensation he had obtained while engaging in “conduct adverse to the county’s interests.”
Wamp also asked the court for an injunction to prevent Taylor from directing his staff to ignore the mayor’s office, appearing in the county attorney’s office in any capacity, acting as a legal advocate for the county or engaging in private counsel without approval from the mayor.