Commission to file lawsuit for wages lost during bomb threat

Published 4:40 pm Monday, September 10, 2012

The Chilton County Commission decided Monday to file a lawsuit against the defendant in a case regarding a bomb threat that was directed at the courthouse Sept. 6.

Commissioner M.L. “Red” Turnipseed proposed that the commission file the lawsuit to claim restitution, or lost wages, in the amount of $8,000 for county employees who had to evacuate the courthouse because of the bomb threat Thursday morning.

Ronald Hester, 44, of Clanton was arrested and charged with making terrorist threats.

Although police officials said Hester had no explosives, the bomb threat occupied numerous detectives, officers and deputies, who secured buildings and investigated the threat for more than eight hours Thursday, according to Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell.

In light of the incident, the commission decided to reconvene at a later time, along with the Courthouse Security Board and law enforcement, to discuss stricter security measures and an evacuation plan for the courthouse.

“We owe the people in this courthouse the respect to take care of them,” Commissioner Allen Caton said.

In new business, the commission approved an agreement with the Chilton County Department of Youth Services to pay for one bed in a Shelby County juvenile detention facility.

Jessica Messer of the Department of Youth Services said the state gives the department enough money each year for one bed in one detention facility.

Since Chilton County does not have a juvenile detention facility, Messer asked that the commission approve for the money to be given to Shelby County to reserve one bed available for a local juvenile at any time.

In other business, the commission:

•Approved a resolution granting permission for the establishment of the Bates Family Cemetery in Clanton.

•Approved issuing a key card to patrol officer Billy Scarborough.

•Approved the county marketing agreement for the Coast2Coast prescription card that will be distributed to county residents.

•Approved an ARRA program agreement for the pass-through of funds for the Chilton County Transit System, of which the commission will take ownership Oct. 1.

•Accepted an updated Request for Proposal from Lee Helms of Lee Helms Associates, LLC for the county’s storm shelters.

•Approved a proclamation declaring Oct. 21-27 as Pro Bono Week.

•Commission Chairman Tim Mims and Administrator Connie Powell signed a line of credit for $400,000 (if needed) for operating expenses until the end of the current budget year.

•Did not approve a spending freeze for the month of September to stop purchase orders for the current budget year.

•Scheduled budget hearings and department head meetings for Sept. 20 and Sept. 24, respectively. The commission will meet Sept. 28 to adopt the new budget for the 2013 fiscal year.