More on water board mess

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2007

To the Editor:

As he always does, Circuit Judge Thomas Jones followed the law when he ruled that 1) the Water Board had no standing to bring an action to keep Dr. Allen off the Board and 2) the Board did have another remedy at law. If they believed Dr. Allen violated the Ethics Law, they could have and can file an Ethics Complaint against her; however, under the law, Judge Jones could not rule that Dr. Allen violated the Ethics Law because the Ethics Law sets forth procedures for making that determination. Of course, the Water Board has not followed the procedures for having someone found guilty of violating the Ethics Law.

Although I have not been an attorney very long, I was surprised that Water Board attorney Collins Pettaway Jr., would say in the press that “the judge should go ahead and answer the question.” I would not think judges like for attorneys to tell them in the press what judges “should go ahead” and do.

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The Water Board has no standing to challenge Dr. Allen’s appointment to the Board. The City Council alone decides who serves on the Water Board. If the

Council decides to elect Joe Blow to the Water Board, the Board has no authority to stop Joe from serving on the Board. Dr. Allen was elected by the City Council to serve on the Water Board.

The general counsel of the Ethics Commission has already told City Attorney Jimmy Nunn, in light of Dr. Allen’s intent to forego compensation for serving on the Water Board, that Dr. Allen’s “appointment to the Water Board is technically not a violation of Ethics Law.”

Now the Water Board has decided to waste more money by asking Judge Jones to vacate his original order. Sooner or later, the citizens of Selma must ask what the Water Board is trying to hide by these desperate actions to keep Dr. Allen off the Water Board.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward I