Today, Perry County’s Right to Know Law Officer provided me with additional information regarding my request of June 22, 2014. A copy of the Nauman Smith law Firm June 2, 2014 invoice can be obtained here. More interesting is the June 16, 2014 letter from Perry County Solicitor William Blunt. You can download a copy here.
In the June 16, 2014 letter, Attorney Blunt on behalf of the Perry County Commissioners refuses to pay additional fees requested, beyond the original $2000 retainer that was agreed to in the fee agreement, and states that the Board of Commissioners previously informed the Auditors “that prior to considering their request for additional legal fees they should first attempt to perform a financial audit of the Sheriff’s concealed weapon permit fees records with the information provided by the Sheriff.” It continues on, “It is my understanding that said information included the original records maintained by the Sheriff’s Office with the names of concealed firearm applicants redacted. The Auditors refused to attempt to perform said Audit under said circumstances.”
But we haven’t reached the best part:
The Board of Commissioners believes that the same is entirely unreasonable and demonstrative of the Auditor’s unwillingness to attempt to perform their elected duties without creating financial hardship for the taxpayers of Perry County. It remains the position of the Board of Commissioners that the Auditors should first attempt to perform said financial audit with the information provided by the Sheriff of Perry County and if for some reason said audit cannot be performed as a result of the Sheriff’s refusal to disclose the names of the applicants, the Auditors should then meet with the Board of Commissioners to review the status of the same at which time the Commissioners will give any request for additional funding due consideration.
I note that in the last paragraph of your letter, you reference filing a legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction. We believe that the filing of same at this time is premature and totally unnecessary. As such, Perry County will not pay for legal fees incurred to your firm for the same. The Perry County Board of Commissioners does not believe that a judicial determination of whether the Auditors have the right to compel the Sheriff to disclose the names of of applicants for concealed weapons is necessary in order for the Auditors to complete their financial audit. Furthermore, any such litigation will ultimately result in the taxpayers of Perry County being requested to fund legal fees for both the Auditors and Sheriff.
So, are the Auditors going to move forward with litigation, against the direction of the Board of Commissioners? If so, who is funding the Auditors’ legal fees? These are questions that should be soon known.
6 thoughts on “Perry County Commissioner Support Sheriff Nace’s Position!”
I applaud Sheriff Nace for not simply handing over the records, however, is redacting *only* the names enough for him to then claim compliance with the law? There are many other pieces of information on the LTCF application which can readily identify the applicant/license holder, including a SSN (though disclosure of the SSN is voluntary).
I would submit that even the Sheriff’s ‘compromise’ offer places him outside of the statutory mandate to protect ALL information provided by applicants, to include address, phone number, acquaintances (references), etc.
It was my understanding that his “compromise” included redacted names, addresses, phone numbers, and other related information and is why the Auditors’ refused acceptance. However, I don’t have anything to specifically confirm or deny this.
Why in the world does Perry County need 3 auditors in the first place? I see other counties with 1 with much larger populations. Sounds like we have excessive auditor expense that needs trimmed.