County Officials Sue Over W. Va. Budget Cuts

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – Five elected county officials in West Virginia are suing their county commission over budget cuts.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports that County Clerk Karen Cole, Prosecuting Attorney Sean “Corky” Hammers, Circuit Clerk Jeffrey Hood, Assessor Irv Johnson and Sheriff Tom McComas filed the lawsuit.

The lawsuit addresses the $21.7 million county budget with 10 percent cuts across all departments. The budget year began July 1.

The lawsuit says the cuts will prevent the officials from performing “constitutionally and statutory required duties.”

County Administrator Beth Thompson says the cuts result from falling revenues, increased jail costs and higher health insurance costs.

The lawsuit argues a 2005 court decision says funding county departments must take precedence over other obligations.

Attorneys for the commission responded that the 2005 decision has no bearing.