Jefferson County's lead attorney, Jeff Sewell, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, county commissioners said Monday.
Jefferson County commissioners David Carrington and Jimmie Stephens confirmed that Sewell will be placed on paid administrative indefinitely while the commission conducts a review.
Carrington says there are several issues that prompted the move but he wouldn't comment on what those are. Carrington adds that Sewell will be on leave for an indefinite amount of time.
Carrington says Sewell was met this morning by the head of the county's human resources department and a security officer before he even stepped into the courthosue.
When asked for comment, most of the commissioners declined to speak. However, Commissioner George Bowman did address the situation, saying that he spoke with Carrington this weekend and knew there were issues with Sewell, but he certainly didn't expect him to be placed on leave.
"This kind of decision should only be made by the full commission. As a body. With all we're facing legally...with descent decree, with bankruptcy proceedings, and all the different court costs we have...this should not have happened without a combined decision of the entire commission...not just one person," Bowman said.
Sewell oversees the county's law department and makes around $375,000 a year. Sewell gave FOX6 News reporter Melanie Posey the following statement:
It is a lawyer's duty to advise a client to obey the law. I have done that. Mr. Carrington's attempt to silence that message signals a giant step backwards for Jefferson County.
Bowman also says he has spoken with his fellow commissioners and all have agreed to an executive session this Thursday to develop a plan of action moving forward.
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