Franklin Co. Commissioners Claim They've Received Threats

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Two Franklin County commissioners say they've been threatened over their vote on legal representation.
In an attempt to save some money, the county asked for bids from attorneys to do the county's legal work.

Franklin County commissioners were scheduled to vote last Tuesday on whether to continue using Attorney Michael Shuler, or hire someone new.

After the commission interviewed several candidates, two commissioners said they'd received phone calls threatening them if they didn't vote for Shuler.

"About three days ago, I had my decision made about who I was going to vote for. I had 186 phone calls yesterday. Thirty-three of them threatened me, burned me out. Today, I'm not going to make a decision because they said it's based on what I made today," said Commissioner William Massey.

"What this person told me was, verbatim, that if I did not go with Michael Shuler as county attorney that I would have ethics charges and sunshine laws charges put up against me," said another commissioner Cheryl Sanders.

Commissioners Joseph Parrish and Noah Lockley Jr. wanted to vote to keep Shuler.
The others wanted to wait.

Commissioners moved to push back the vote until their February 19th meeting,

"I have never been so disappointed as I have in this procedure right here," said Sanders.

"I think we need to take a deep breath and let the commissioners collect their thoughts,” said Pinki Jackel.

When WJHG contacted the commissioners on Tuesday to see if they're still getting threats, those that responded declined to comment or return phone calls.

Massey declined to file a police complaint about the alleged threats so the Franklin County Sheriff's Office is not investigating at this time.

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