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gets money back

Judge returning funds commissioner posted in e-mail suit

By Sheryl Marsh · 340-2437

Morgan County District 4 Commissioner Stacy George will get back most of the money he posted as security in a lawsuit against his colleagues.

Circuit Judge Steve Haddock is returning the security money that George posted on a restraining order he requested to keep e-mails on county computers from being destroyed.

Haddock issued an order Wednesday authorizing the circuit clerk to give George the remainder of $4,500 after court costs are deducted. Those are about $316.

The judge’s action brings closure to a lawsuit that stemmed from an e-mail scandal at the courthouse.

George said Haddock dealt with him fairly.

“I certainly appreciate the judge’s fairness,” George said. “If I had my day in court and lost, I would have expected it to go to the defendants, but since I didn’t, I think the judge ruled fairly. I’m just grateful, and I know the people who donated to the cost will be grateful when I offer their money back to them.”

Data on county server

George filed a lawsuit in February against County Commission Chairman John Glasscock, District 1 Commissioner Jeff Clark and Data Processing Manager David Hannah, alleging that they kept him from viewing e-mails on the county server.

He asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the men from destroying electronic records on county computers.

Haddock dismissed the case last month on a motion filed by the defendants’ attorney, Julian Butler. After the dismissal, George’s attorney Hubert Porter filed a motion asking the judge for the money he posted for surety. Also, he asked Haddock to re-open the case.

Butler filed a counter petition asking the judge to award the money to the county to help pay his legal fees for representing Glasscock, Clark and Hannah.

In his ruling Wednesday, the judge stated that the trio did not show that they were wrongfully enjoined by the restraining order and denied their request for the money.

Also, Haddock denied George’s motion for a new trial (re-opening the case).

George said he’s finished with the e-mail scandal that started in November when a television reporter exposed Glasscock and Jack Underwood, the former human resources director, for having sexually charged e-mails on their computers.

“I’ll get the money and put it back into the political action committee account,” George said. “Some of the people who gave contributions said they wanted theirs to go to charity, so I will contact each of them and do what they tell me to do with their money. I’m done with the e-mail scandal.”

George showed The Daily a list of donors, whom he said gave contributions from $5 to $500. They were from Decatur, Hartselle, Trinity and rural parts of the county.

He said he used the money to repay a bank loan he got to post the money for surety. He said he would start contacting the residents who contributed Thursday.

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