Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More On Gary Griffin's Lawsuit

I'd mentioned in the previous post about the County meeting violation alleged by Constable Gary Griffin. This latest article is from the TDP. Here is the gist of what is alleged:
The filing quotes Doerfler as testifying in open court that during an executive session on Oct. 20 commissioners had a "“general consensus in the meeting" that Griffin had eight deputies for mental health purposes, and commissioners "figured that's what it was going to take for the sheriff to do a like job with that many people, and that all eight of them should go."

According to the filing, also attending the executive session were county budget analyst Ashley Koenig and Julie Kiley, the assistant county auditor, who provided budget and other information.

The amended lawsuit says commissioners held similar discussions about Griffin's budget in executive sessions on Oct. 25 and Nov. 8.

The filing says, "“Matched with the county judge's sworn testimony exposing that such budget discussions occurred in the executive sessions, this absence of any public discussion of the staffing level for Constable Griffin's office is further evidence that the deliberation occurred only in secret."

The filing says that prior to their votes ordering the budget-funding shift, no public discussion occurred about staffing levels in Griffin's office, which violated the open meetings act.
What does the judge have to say for himself?
Asked about the allegations in the amended filing, Doerfler said he hadn't received a copy.

"Even if I had seen it, I couldn't comment, based on instructions I've received from our county attorney's office, because the case is in litigation."” Doerfler said.
No Comment. What about the county attorney?
Asked about the amended filing, County Attorney Jana Duty said Griffin is "“a sore loser"” for authorizing the filing of the amendment.

"“He lost his temporary injunction and is just trying for another bite at the apple,"” Duty said. "“He's also seeking to try his case in the press and not in the courtroom."”

Asked whether Doerfler's testimony, which revealed the contents of the executive sessions, waived the county's executive-session privilege, Duty said, "I'd have to research that - I'm not an expert on the open meetings act."
If she's not an expert then how can she commnent in one instance - about Mr. Griffin being a "sore loser" and "try(ing) his case in the media" - and not in the other - "I'd have to research that"? The constable's whole case is about the open meetings act. This vendetta that county officials have against Mr. Griffin has always puzzled me. Why do they have it out for Gary Griffin?

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