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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2007
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Lawrence will sue Harville for funds

By Nancy Glasscock
nglasscock@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — The Lawrence County Commission plans to sue a former county administrator who commissioners allege wrote herself a check for $27,000.

They also allege she wrote a county check for $2,762.50 to pay her private attorney before she left office in September.

The commission Monday unanimously approved a motion by Commissioner John Terry to immediately begin legal proceedings against former County Administrator Linda Harville.

"We're going to let (Cecil Caine, the commission's attorney) try to get the money back, and if we can't, we'll try to go further," Terry said.

Caine said he tried to review Harville's contract to determine if she had been promised compensation for overtime, but he couldn't find the original contract.

He said he obtained an unsigned copy of her contract that he believes is an exact copy of the original document.

The copy does not mention comp time, Caine said.

Terry said the original contracts of Harville and a former county engineer are missing. Someone apparently took them from personnel files, Terry said.

Harville was to retire Oct. 1, but the commission voted to terminate her contract and the contract of former Assistant Administrator Karen Harrison after FBI agents found an illegal monitoring system in the commission building.

Harville and Harrison admitted installing the system, commissioners said.

Commission Chairman Bradley Cross said earlier this month that Harville said the $27,000 was for comp time, vacation and two weeks' salary.

According to county personnel policy, Harville isn't entitled to overtime pay as a salaried employee regardless of how many hours she worked a week.

Caine said he hadn't received a response from Harville's attorney's firm, Sirote and Permut, to a letter sent to the law firm requesting the $2,762.50 be returned to the county.

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