Parnell issues warning to County Commission

Published 11:34 am Wednesday, May 26, 2021



Chilton County Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell issued a public warning to the members of the commission during a meeting on May 25.

The warning was given because information was leaked from two separate executive sessions held recently by the commission.

Executive sessions are meant to be extremely confidential meetings in which the information that is talked about is to be kept from being knowledge to anyone outside of the meeting. Governmental boards can legally hold executive sessions when the issue involves potential pending litigation, “good name and character” of an individual or sensitive business details before a contract is signed. No votes can be taken in an executive session.

However, Parnell said that after both of the recent executive sessions, the information spoken about had gotten back to him from someone not at the meeting.

“One of those [times] was discussed the following morning in Main Street Café,” Parnell said. “The other, a member of this board contacted a bonding agent to discuss what we discussed in this meeting.”

Parnell went on to say that not only is that kind of act unacceptable, but it is in fact impeachable if the information that is leaked causes harm to the county.

Should it happen a third time, Parnell said he will not hesitate to act.

“The last thing that I would like [to] … have to do is to follow through with an impeachment of somebody for violating those sacred rules of an executive session meeting,” Parnell said. “We’ll leave it at that, I’m not going to name anybody, but I know with good reason that it happened … and the next time it happens there will be charges brought.”