Fiscal court to keep excess fees after all

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Clark County Fiscal Court is going to keep $150,000 in excess fees from the previous county attorney after all.

Two weeks ago, the court voted to return the funds to Clark County Attorney William Elkins’ office to fund its start-up following the change in administrations.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Elkins said he had found enough bank accounts and funds to keep his office operating for the time being and asked the court not to transfer the $150,000 after all.

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“When we came in on Jan. 9, we had two days amid the shutdown to determine what account numbers we had,” Elkins said. “The county attorney had a multitude of accounts. We discovered we had accounts with an appreciable balance.”

The federal government shutdown, he said, has slowed efforts to locate more accounts through electronic identification numbers at local banks.

“We’re going to be on a lean peanut-butter-and-jelly diet” but the available funds and revenue from fees should be enough to keep the office operating, he said.

Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace said the money was never transferred because “William explained he didn’t need the money.”

The measure was approved 5-2, with magistrates Travis Thompson and Robert Blanton voting no.

“It seems odd,” Blanton said. “We’re transferring it and re-transferring it with no plans.”

Former county attorney Brian Thomas turned over $150,000 from his office’s excess fees in December 2018 before his term ended. The court at the time voted to put $100,000 of that toward a down payment on a budgeted tanker for the fire department and $50,000 as pledged to the Sphar building project. At the fiscal court’s Jan. 9 meeting, the new court voted to rescind that order and give the funds back to the county attorney.

At this point, Pace said he had no specific plans for the $150,000.

In other action, the magistrates voted to hire. Tyler S. Tays, Christopher S. Hunt, Andrew P. Fisher, Tyler J. Kitchen and Zacharian J. Carpenter as volunteer firefighters at the Clark County Fire Department.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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