Smith Co. receives partial reimbursement for lawsuit - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith Co. receives partial reimbursement for lawsuit

Released by Smith County:

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Smith County Judge Joel Baker announced today that partial reimbursement has been received for a 2008 lawsuit against the County alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act.

During the 2008 jail bond election both County Judge Joel Baker and former Commissioner Pct. 1JoAnn Fleming were sued in a tax payer lawsuit claiming they violated the Texas Open Meetings Act while forming the proposed 2008 jail bond plan. In 2009 a jury found that there were no open meetings violations after a five day trial presided over by visiting Judge John Nelms.

Judge Nelms also found the defendant, Smith County, was entitled to reimbursement of court expenses by the plaintiff. Total payment to the county by the plaintiff with interest is $68,880.

". We have many worthy projects underway that will benefit from this money and I am pleased to see the return of taxpayer dollars used to defend this lawsuit. The citizens of Smith County are the ultimate beneficiaries of this payment," Smith County Judge Joel Baker said.

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