Response to ‘PBA votes for a new attorney to replace Huskey’  headline

Coffee County Attorney Robert Huskey 

I suppose most folks like to see their name in the paper and the bigger and the bolder the better, but not necessarily. In the years of my practice, I don’t recall ever seeing my name so boldly presented as it was depicted in the above referenced newspaper under the headline “PBA votes for a new attorney to replace Huskey.”

While technically one could contend that the heading and the presentation is correct in that the board did vote to employ an attorney to fill the position that once was filled by me, just like it could have said that once was filled by Mark Williams; but the connotation of the article was that the board was voting to remove me from the position and replace me with the firm Keeton and Perry.

Now I wasn’t at the meeting so I don’t know what the motion said; however, I do know that in order to remove someone from a position, he or she must be in that position, and I haven’t been in that position for at least eight months.

In February of 2019 because of the negative comments about there being a conflict of interest of my serving as county attorney and also serving as attorney for the PBA, which comments were earlier in public meetings and reported in the paper or made directly to the paper and published, I spoke with Patricia Pinegar who at the time was chairman of the PBA and advised her that although there had been no conflict of interest in my representing both the county and PBA and nothing that I had handled for the PBA was adverse to the county, that perception could override fact and reality and that because of the negative perception that had been generated by those comments being published in the paper that it would be a disservice to me to continue to serve as attorney for the PBA. Ms. Pinegar understood and expressed her appreciation.

In a meeting with the county commissioners the following month, I addressed the fact that during the entire year my total billing to the PBA as its attorney was $162.50, which was detailed in my billing to them and had nothing to do with the county. But that because of the perception generated, I had advised the PBA chairman that I would no longer serve as the PBA attorney.

Therefore since I have not been attorney for the PBA now for a period of approximately eight months. I cannot be replaced by someone else, but rather someone else can merely be hired to fill the position that I once held. I would add that Brent Keeton and Greg Perry are fine lawyers, and I believe they will do a good job for the PBA and I’m glad to see that the PBA has secured counsel to guide them in legal matters.

 

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