“Here we go again,” Joiner said Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Gene Rutledge on behalf of Scott Bradshaw.
Rutledge has been the attorney in several lawsuits opposing the McClellan Development Authority, the board that took over the development of McClellan from the JPA.
Since the 2008 decision, Rutledge was the attorney for two lawsuits filed on behalf of Anniston City Councilmen Ben Little and Herbert Palmore and former Councilman Stan Bennett. Those two lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice, but are still subject to appeal in a higher court.
Bradshaw’s lawsuit claims that when the JPA was terminated by Laird’s 2008 decision, the employees became em-ployees of Calhoun County and, as such, are entitled to a hearing before the county’s Civil Service Board prior to being terminated.
Bradshaw was fired from his position as property manager on Aug. 24, 2009, without a hearing. Instead, he was terminated at a meeting with Joiner and Robin Scott, executive director of the MDA.
Bradshaw declined to comment, but his attorney, Rutledge, said Laird’s order transferred all assets and employees of the JPA to the Calhoun County Commission. He knew the order couldn’t stand, he said.
“I wanted to see how they would get out of the order before I filed the suit for Scott,” Rutledge said. “The way the case is set up now, either the people that fired him had no authority to do so because the order’s no good, or they fired him as an employee of Calhoun County without giving him the merit system protection.”
Joiner maintains that the employees of the former JPA were never employees of Calhoun County and were not paid with county money, but with money from the MDA.
“The action that the judge took was of a temporary nature until the issue could be resolved,” Joiner said. “There are several exclusions in the civil service law that would lead you to believe … that he was not by any means made a civil service employee.”
No MDA employees are civil service employees now or in the past, Joiner said. In fact, there have been two county employees who left their jobs with the county to work for the MDA and lost their civil service status.
“It’s another opportunity to harass the McClellan issue,” Joiner said. “It’s just going to cause us to spend more money on attorney’s fees defending something that is utterly ridiculous. Those funds could be going towards the de-velopment of McClellan.”
One of the claims Bradshaw is making is for back pay for the time since his termination. Those funds would be paid out of McClellan resources, Joiner said.
Contact staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.