Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

March 12, 2014

Former Olive Hill city clerk, utility manager named in suit

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

March 12, 2014 — Frankfort attorney Jim Deckard has filed a motion in Carter Circuit Court naming former Olive Hill City Clerk Cheri James and former utility manager Derrick Jones as additional defendants in a pending class action lawsuit against the city.

If the motion is granted, both James and Jones could be held personally and professionally liable for damages awarded to the plaintiffs if such a judgment happens.

Both city employees resigned from their respective positions last summer.

The original lawsuit, filed in January 2013, named several “John Doe” defendants as well as the city government, which is a typical procedure when the plaintiff wants to reserve the right to add specific individuals to the complaint at a later point.

Deckard also is seeking to prevent the city from potentially discarding evidence relating to the activities of both individuals during their employment with the city.

Initial discovery responses have been received by counsel for plaintiffs and an agreed order upon motion to preserve evidence relating to City Clerk James and Utility Clerk Jones has been entered,” said Deckard in the filing.

The amended motion in the Meade vs. City of Olive Hill lawsuit also names current City Clerk Angela Owens as a potential defendant as a means to prevent the city government from making any further transfers of utility profits to the city’s general fund.

This lawsuit, along with one filed by local attorney Michael B. Fox, was certified as a class action last September.

At a status hearing last November, Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips informed attorneys in both lawsuits that she would render a final decision “late next week” as to which attorney would represent the class action.

Four months later, however, no such ruling has been issued.

Phillips will hear the motion to add James and Jones as defendants in the Meade vs. City of Olive Hill lawsuit at 1 p.m. on April 7.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.