Case Against County Executive Chris Abele Begins Monday
Chairman Lipscomb Filed Suit Against Abele’s Unilateral Actions, Refusal to Appear Before County Board
A lawsuit filed by County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., against County Executive Chris Abele will be heard at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, February 29 in Circuit Judge William Sosnay’s court, room 414 at the Courthouse.
The suit was filed in 2015 but has been delayed twice at Abele’s request. The County Executive claims he has unilateral authority to give his political appointees virtually unlimited pay raises without Board approval. In one example, Hector Colon, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services and an Abele appointee, was given an improper raise of nearly $50,000 to $177,000.
The complaint against Abele also seeks a judicial declaration on the Board’s authority to require the County Executive to attend County Board meetings. Abele has disregarded the Board’s requests to attend meetings, and the suit requests statutory interpretation. Earlier this week hundreds of citizens attending a public hearing on the Domes were dismayed to find once again Abele was a no-show.
“The County Executive has postponed review by the courts of his unilateral actions through continued delays,” Lipscomb said. “Monday will finally be our first day in court. There is a difference of opinion about the law, and we’re asking the court to make a judgment. Apparently, the County Executive doesn’t even want the courts to review his exercise of powers.
“When given the chance, I trust the court to definitively rule on whether the County Executive can give his appointees huge pay increases without oversight. In addition, we would like the court to rule on whether the County Executive can continually ignore the Board’s lawful requests for him to appear to discuss key issues affecting County citizens.”
WHO: Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
WHAT: Lawsuit against County Executive Chris Abele, Case Number 2015-CV-008664
WHERE: Courtroom of Judge William Sosnay, Branch 8, Room 414, Courthouse
WHEN: Monday, February 29, 9:30 a.m.