This was e-mailed to County Commissioners yesterday (Wednesday) and will be addressed at tonight's Commission meeting.
As you discuss the County Legal Services Agreement on Thursday, Dec. 14, we ask you to address this question: Is the County Attorney 1) an "official" of the county, 2) an employee of the county or 3) an "independent contractor?"
We believe these are three mutually exclusive categories. This question was raised at the December County Steering Committee.
The question is clouded by the fact that the County Legal Services Agreement (LSA) is not consistent within itself, using both "official" and "employee" in describing the role of the County Attorney in County Government.
The Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance believes that some clarity can come through TCA statues we believe are applicable. These statutes are T.C.A. 5-14-114, T.C.A. 5-21-121, and T.C.A. 5-23-102. The present Legal Services Agreement and practice appear to us to violate these codes.
We urge you to review these laws and clarify the exact employment category of the County Attorney since the continuation of the present practice will perpetuate this problematic situation.
As is typical of such a task, it is best undertaken by a qualified but disinterested party. We recommend that you give notice that the Legal Services Agreement, as written, not be renewed - or with only a one-year extension.
Sincerely, Susan Allen, on behalf of the Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance