Franklin County Commission Meeting Gets Heated

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The contract for legal services remains a hot issue in Franklin County.
After a heated meeting Tuesday morning, county commissioners tabled the issue for another two weeks.

Some of the commissioners were visibly shaken on Tuesday, including Chairman Cheryl Sanders who says commissioner Noah Lockley Jr. questioned her authority.

“I was just challenged on my decision as chairman because I'm trying to follow an appropriate rule by commissioner Lockley and I can tell you, that hurts me to the heart," said Sanders.

The dissension follows a heated debate over the future of the County Attorney Michael Shuler.

Commissioners opened up the position to look at ways to save money, but before voting two weeks ago, two commissioners announced they've received threats.

"People making threats to myself, no matter what they are, and commissioner Massey, or whoever else has received threats, it's unlawful and you can be prosecuted for that," said Sanders.

The vote was tabled until this week, but the discussion wasn't any easier.
Board members argued over the way to proceed.

"I believe that we need to get some clarification on the chairman's authority on this because I'm not going to be part of a vote that I don't believe is a correct vote," said commissioner Pinki Jackel.

"I think it's politics at its worst and I'm embarrassed to be a politician right now," said the Franklin County Clerk of Court Marcia Johnson who spoke highly of Shuler.

Commissioners would not say whether they've continued to receive threats.
Parrish and Lockley say they'd like to keep Shuler as the county attorney because of his history with the board.

The others motioned to table the issue, once again, to provide the board time to cool-down.

The commission will take up the attorney contract at their March 5th meeting.

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