Executive session expected for county attorney placed on paid le

Executive session expected for county attorney placed on paid leave

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County Attorney Jeff Sewell remains on paid leave. Sewell was barred from his office Monday after a decision by Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington.

"The county attorney works for the county commission. The county attorney can't approve any settlement, can't hire outside attorneys, can't fire attorneys, can't hire consultants," Carrington said Tuesday.

Carrington would not elaborate on any possible allegations against Sewell.

Commissioner Jimmie Stephens said he has had issues with the county attorney in the past.

"It's an ongoing situation. Certain areas we asked for legal advice that which we would receive would be contrary to what we were talking or what we were needing," Stephens said.

Jefferson County continues to face numerous legal issues including bankruptcy and compliance with the federal consent decree over hiring practices. Commissioners are concerned the dispute over the county attorney could affect county business.

"We will continue to move forward. We have a legal department. We still have attorneys working on most of these items and we will continue to work with them," Commissioner Joe Knight said.

But other commissioners are concerned.

"I'm very concerned about that. We must find closure as soon as possible. Find the problem, let's fix it. And put our county law department back together again," Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said.

Sewell says there have been ongoing issues with the commission. An executive session is expected to be held over Sewell for Thursday.

Carrington believes the issue will be resolved within two weeks. Brown hopes the matter could be resolved after the executive session.

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