Despite concerns, council pays bill

Saturday, April 14, 2007

CLOVERDALE -- For nearly two months, the Cloverdale Town Council has battled over how to pay current attorney Allan Yackey.

In March, at its regular board meeting, the council declared it was "bogged down in a dispute," regarding the issue. At the meeting, it was suggested the town may have to contact the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns to hire an attorney to take care of the situation.

However, at a special meeting later in March, Sublett attempted to resolve the issue again, but no action was taken.

On Tuesday, the board voted 3-2 in favor of paying the bill in full. Sublett made the motion to pay the bill with council Vice President Dennis Padgett giving the second. Board members John Davis and Judy Whitaker voted no on the issue.

At the meeting, Whitaker again expressed concern regarding how Yackey was to be paid.

In December, the board voted 3-2 in favor of selecting Yackey to replace outgoing attorney Scott Hoff, at a retainer fee of $7,000. However, Whitaker has said recently she was not sure how Yackey was to be paid.

In March, Whitaker said she believed the council had "two agreements" with Yackey. In addition to the retainer fee, she said she had noticed that some bills received from the attorney appeared to have some specific costs for items.

As the dispute has continued, Whitaker has noted that several items on the bills were not specific in nature and continually pointed to the original agreement she believed the town had entered into with Yackey after he was selected to replace Hoff.

On Tuesday, Whitaker continued to express disappointment regarding the matter. She also noted that at one time, Yackey had acted as Sublett's "personal attorney."

Sublett, however, said Yackey represented him as the council President in a lawsuit brought against him by Whitaker and Davis.

Still, Sublett said he wanted to "get Mr. Yackey paid," as soon as possible Tuesday.

"I bet you do," Whitaker said, wondering aloud if some of the bills to be paid for Yackey included "personal" bills for Sublett.

"No they're not," Sublett said.

"I'm not going to get tangled up in numbers," Sublett said.

"No, don't get tangled up in numbers with (Whitaker)," Padgett added.

Following the vote, town clerk/treasurer Patti Truax asked what amount Yackey was to be paid, to which Sublett responded "all of it."

In March, Sublett said the town still owed Yackey a bill of $8,314.50 for services rendered. The town had paid $1,301.66 to Yackey by that meeting, but Truax said he had not been paid for specific litigation matters.

The vote Tuesday allowed the town to pay $7,012.84 to Yackey.

During the audience comment portion of the meeting, town resident Gloria Bergstrom approached the board, saying she believed Yackey was the best thing to happen to the council, expressing her thanks to Yackey, which received an applause from the packed house at Town Hall.

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