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Attorney seeks to dismiss lawsuit against clerk

Cris RitchieEditor

August 2, 2012

HAZARD – An attorney for Perry County Clerk Haven King is seeking to have a lawsuit filed against King dismissed in Perry Circuit Court.


The Perry County Fiscal Court is suing King in an attempt to collect thousands of dollars that he was alleged to have improperly used in the clerk’s office from 2007 through 2009.


According to a state audit of the county clerk’s 2010 finances, King should personally repay $29,290 to the fiscal court for disallowed expenses found in previous audits. Some of those expenditures included what the auditor’s office defined as political, while other funds went to local charities that aid Kentucky veterans or other expenses.


Attorney James Hampton this week filed a response to the lawsuit in which he noted that King denies that he owes the funds in dispute, and also argues that the statute of limitation in filing suit to collect those funds had expired by the time of the county’s initial filing. According to state law, if the fiscal court is unable to collect the funds directly from the county official, the county has 90 days from the time the audit report is received to file a lawsuit in an attempt to collect. Hampton argues that the county failed to file suit in a timely manner.


“This action should therefore be dismissed as untimely and not filed within applicable statue (sic) of limitations,” Hampton’s motion reads.


The lawsuit was filed against King in the Perry Circuit Clerk’s office on June 12, while the audit report of the clerk’s 2010 financial statement was released publicly on March 16, according to the auditor’s website. The audit report itself is dated November 29, 2011.


County Attorney John Carl Shackelford, who the fiscal court directed to file the initial complaint, was not in his office Thursday afternoon. Calls made to Hampton’s office seeking comment were also unsuccessful.


Shackelford has until August 8 to file a response. A hearing on Hampton’s motion to dismiss the case is set for Tuesday, August 14.