Help needed in appeal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Selma City Council made a good move Monday night by approving a motion to have legal help brought in for city attorney Jimmy Nunn in an appeal.

The city lost the first round in a legal battle centering on an incident that occurred in 2000.

Two weeks ago, a jury awarded Kindaka Sanders, John Moss and Kenyatta Gaines a total of $310,000 for the Oct. 7, 2000, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment civil case. That includes compensatory and punitive damages.

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If the appeal is unsuccessful, the six-figured verdict a Dallas County jury awarded three young men as a result of the case will have to come from city coffers.

Why? The City of Selma was uninsured at the time of the incident.

About six months after Perkins took office the city had insurance in place through the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation, which now blankets everything from city hall to police car wrecks, to workman’s compensation. Claims are forwarded to AMICO, and the city only has to pay the $5,000 deductible, Nunn said.

At the City Council meeting, attorneys Valerie Chittom and Rick Howard were hired to handle the appeal of the case.

The city should fight the verdict, and should hire whatever help it needs to do so.