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Report: Legal saga continues in Clinton Council race

According to the Courier News, the legal battle over last year’s Clinton City Council election is continuing.

In it’s Wednesday (June 5th, 2019) edition, the paper reports that in May, Chancellor Nichole Cantrell dismissed Ron Young’s lawsuit against the Anderson County Election Commission over last November’s Clinton City Council election, in which Young was defeated by incumbent ET Stamey. As we have previously reported, Young contended that Stamey is ineligible to serve as a Councilman because he is employed by the city school system as its Athletic Director. In April, Chancellor Cantrell dismissed Young’s lawsuit against Stamey after hearing oral arguments from both sides and reviewing the material submitted by the attorneys in the case, deciding that, based upon statutes and case law that while the city’s legislative body may have established the school system, it is run autonomously and separately from the rest of the city government–complete with its own legislative body (the Board of Education) and director.

Young’s suit against the Election Commission sought an injunction to prevent city employees from being included on future ballots.

The Courier News reports that last week, Young filed appeals of both dismissals.

According to the paper, Stamey last week indicated he was on track to rack up legal bills of almost $10,000 as he fights the lawsuit, and city leaders expressed some concern that because of a state statute, the city has to pay the $17,000 legal bill for the Election Commission in this matter. An opinion from the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) states: “Basically, the funding of each county election commission is the responsibility of that county which, if not provided for, will be compelled by the chancery court. However, each municipality is responsible for expenses the county election commission incurs in holding municipal elections, and for the additional expenses attributable to the municipal election when it is held on the same day as a countywide election.” [emphasis added] In this case, additional legal fees are being considered an additional expense.

You can read more about the legal dispute, and the discussion from last week’s City Council meeting, in today’s edition of the Courier News and online at www.mycouriernews.com.

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