2017-08-09 / Local News

Commissioners’ debate attorney pay

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

Carroll County Commissioners’ attorney Ted Johnson advised his clients Monday morning they have the authority to “hire and fix the compensation” for an attorney. He said the Drainage Board, which is also the Commissioners, has the same authority.

Johnson cited IC 36-2-2- 30 as the justification for the Commissioners’ attorney compensation to be fixed by the governing body and IC 36-9-27-9 as that which gives the Drainage Board the ability to set the rate of compensation. Johnson said the County Council can set the rate for compensation for their attorney. However, he indicated the Council has nothing to say about what rate the Commissioners set for their attorney and the one for the Drainage Board attorney, which is Johnson in both instances.

Johnson suggested he be paid $28,000 for a retainer in 2018 in addition to extra legal fees. Commissioner Steve Pearson reminded his fellow Commissioners Bill Brown and John Brown they submitted a rate of $20,000 for Johnson’s retainer and another $6,000 for extra legal fees to the Council for the 2018 budget. However, Bill Brown advised he changed the numbers, without

Pearson knowing about it. It was unclear if John Brown knew about the change.

Bill Brown said when he heard the Council planned to pay their attorney $200 per hour, he thought Johnson’s rate should be increased. He said he thought the Commissioners’ attorney should be paid as much as the Council attorney.

No County Council member was present at the meeting.

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