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Cleburne County Commission hires attorney to advise on labor issue

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HEFLIN The Cleburne County Commission met in a called meeting Thursday night to hire an attorney who specializes in labor and employment-related matters.

The commission approved a resolution to hire Hope Hicks, an attorney with Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak from Montgomery, to advise the governing body about labor and employment matters.  

The resolution stated that the commission, “understands and perceives the need to review, discuss, and make possible changes in the Cleburne County personnel policy handbook.” 

The resolution went on to read that the commission is in need of professional services to study possible changes in the practice of labor and employment of current employees and hiring of future employees.

After the commission voted unanimously on the resolution, Hicks spoke to the commission for the need to for an executive session. Hicks said the matters facing the commission are appropriate for an executive session.

“I’ve talked to the chairman and understand there are some matters before the Cleburne County Commission and I would express to you as an attorney of record of the State of Alabama that I believe the matters to be discussed with the commission would be matters that would affect the commission as far as legal opinions for pending litigation, controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated or imminently likely to be litigated if the governmental body pursues a course of action,” said Hicks.

Before the commission went into executive session, Commission Chairman Ryan Robertson said there is no litigation at the present time but did say that legal counsel was needed to address “questions” that were asked of current employees. 

Robertson would not elaborate on who asked the employees questions or what the questions were. 

“We felt that it was needful for us to bring in a special attorney who specializes in labor law just to make sure that we do address it and do everything correctly,” said Robertson.

Robertson said the commission would not be discussing any business after the executive session. After the session ended, Robertson said via a text message that Hicks is going to “do more research and report back to the commission.”