Sullivan Co. taxpayers left with $143K bill after sheriff's suit - WFLA News Channel 8

Sullivan County taxpayers left with $143,000 bill after sheriff's lawsuit

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Sullivan County taxpayers are picking up the tab for attorneys fees accumulated over the course of a lawsuit filed by Sheriff Wayne Anderson.

In a News Channel 11 investigation, Melissa Hipolit obtained the total cost of those fees for both the sheriff's attorney and the mayor's counsel.

Those bills total roughly $143,000.

The sheriff's bill was around $62,000 and the mayor's bill was close to $80,000.

Back in August, Sheriff Anderson sued Mayor Steve Godsey for $10 million citing that his department was under funded.

Ultimately, the two agreed to settle that lawsuit, but not before those attorneys fees were wracked up.

Anderson said the attorneys fees are well worth the outcome, but Godsey isn't so sure that's the case.

"That's what that lawsuit did - it helped the county commission and the citizens of Sullivan County," said Anderson.

"We could have taken this $150,000 in legal expense and given that to the sheriff's department and that would have gone a long ways toward whatever they are in desperate need for," said Godsey.

Sheriff Anderson is requesting a nearly $10 million increase, again, in this year's budget.

Included in Anderson's proposed budget: 30 new patrolmen and 30 new jailers, and a 17% pay raise for department employees.

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