County Commission

The Limestone County Commission on Monday approved part of an agreement to settle a federal sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Sheriff's Office employee.

Commissioners voted unanimously to expend $25,000 as part of the agreement. The funds will be pulled from the county's general fund.

Neither Commission Chairman Collin Daly or county attorney Mark Maclin would offer details about the county's settlement with Leslie Ramsey, a 15-year Sheriff's Office employee who filed the lawsuit in January 2019 against Sheriff Mike Blakely, Chief Deputy Fred Sloss, the County Commission and Daly.

The commission resolution said the $25,000 was “in the defense of the Commission and to defray and resolve any further costs of litigation against the Commission.” Maclin told commissioners all other terms of the agreement would be settled in mediation.

After the meeting, Maclin said he could not comment on the status of the case or whether it had been fully settled. He explained the commission's action on Monday represented a step in the timeline of the resolution.

Ramsey's lawsuit was settled last month through mediation, though information about the settlement has not been made public. A request for comment from Ramsey's attorney was not answered Monday.

Ramsey's lawsuit alleged she was sexually assaulted by Sloss and faced retaliation and demotion when she filed a complaint. In September, Blakely terminated Ramsey's employment. She appealed the termination, but the commission upheld Blakely's decision.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Approved a resolution to begin using electronic poll books in lieu of printed lists for all Limestone County elections;

• Approved transferring $30,000 to the Limestone County Coroner's Office for the purchase of a new vehicle. At Thursday's work session, Coroner Mike West told commissioners the new vehicle would replace one involved in a recent crash;

• Hired Christian Pack as a corrections officer, pending a drug screening;

• Gave preliminary and final approval to the replat of lots 14 and 15 of O.G. Johnson Estates, a two-lot minor subdivision on the west side of Mooresville Road and approximately 1,500 feet north of the U.S. 72 intersection in District 2;

• Gave preliminary approval to the third phase of Lonnie Dale subdivision, a two-lot major subdivision at the intersection of St. John and Newby Chapel roads in District 2;

• Gave final approval to the 10th addition of Legacy Grove, a 69-lot major subdivision on the east side of Mooresville Road in District 2;

• Gave preliminary and final approval to the replat of a lot in the Elmore Estates subdivision, a two-lot minor subdivision three-fourths of a mile west of Oneal Road on Alabama 99 in District 4;

• Gave preliminary and final approval to Upper Fort Hampton Road subdivision, a three-lot minor subdivision 1.5 miles east of Locke Cross Roads on the south side of Upper Fort Hampton Road in District 1; and

• Approved the auction of nine tri-axle dump trucks by J.M. Wood Auction Company at the March 17-21 auction.

Commissioners' reports

• District 1: Commissioner Daryl Sammet said his crew was performing normal road maintenance and repairing wash-outs from recent rain events;

• District 2: Commissioner Steve Turner said his crew would be performing work with the city of Athens to replace a drain pipe on Line Road. He estimated work could begin as early as today, and the road would be closed during the duration of the repair;

• District 3: Commissioner Jason Black offered condolences to the family of George Wayne Dison, the Elkmont man shot and killed by Limestone County deputies Sunday night at his residence on Sugar Way. Black also asked Limestone residents to keep the officers involved in their prayers; and

• District 4: Commissioner Ben Harrison said his district did not have significant damage from the previous rain event because it was a slow rain. He added he's putting down reflective pavement markers on Glaze Road and will soon start Quinn Road. Crews will also soon begin work to replace drainage pipe on Grace Hill Lane and County Line Road ahead of efforts to reclaim the roads.

The commission will meet again for a work session 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Washington Street annex.

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