A Twiggs County resident would like to see county commissioners jailed and pay from their own pockets for county work done at a church.
Walt Ashby filed a lawsuit seeking contempt of court last week, alleging commissioners had debris removed from Old Marion Baptist Church after it burned in April 2007, then used county resources again in March 2011 to ready the site for construction.
County Attorney Tom Richardson said he expects commissioners will discuss the lawsuit in closed session Tuesday morning.
Ashby said the work was done in violation of a 1983 injunction, in which a Twiggs County Superior Court judge barred commissioners from allowing any work to be done on the private property of anyone by county road equipment and personnel.
Ashby said he isnt accusing the church of doing anything wrong and expects some Twiggs County commissioners to be cleared.
The lawsuit asks that Twiggs County commissioners reimburse the county for work done on the church property, be fined and serve 20 days in the Twiggs County jail. Ashby said a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1.
Ray Bennett, chairman of the county commission, declined to comment, referring questions to Richardson. Richardson said he hadnt had a chance to discuss the case with his clients and could not comment.
Ashby pointed to an April 5, 2011, meeting of commissioners where he asked Bennett about working on private property. In a YouTube video of that meeting, Bennett appears to respond that the county can provide some assistance in some cases: Its been the policy of this board that churches, schools, other entities like that, park areas, that the county has been asked to help, Bennett said. Other portions of the quote are unintelligible. At the meeting, Bennett suggested that Ashby get a copy of the policy from administrators.
Asked about that, Richardson replied, Im quite sure theres no written policy on that.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.