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Judge: Amount of Sullivan sheriff's $9.9 million lawsuit must be lowered

John Osborne • Nov 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — After a preliminary motions hearing Wednesday, Sheriff Wayne Anderson’s lawsuit seeking more funding from Sullivan County is set to move forward with a March 11 trial date.

But the dollar amount of Anderson’s claim will be millions of dollars less after Special Judge James Beckner agreed the sheriff’s nearly $10 million filing must be amended to exclude anything not included in the sheriff’s budget requests to the Sullivan County Commission earlier this year.

Beckner further directed Anderson’s legal team to identify any "ex officio" expenses — that means funding for anything that isn’t related to a fee-generating function of the sheriff’s office or jail. And Beckner told the sheriff the amended claim needs to be more specific in why requested items are needed — not just that they are needed. Beckner said he wants an explanation of how the sheriff’s duties, as mandated by state law, will not be performed without that funding.