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Commission votes to continue Election lawsuit

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The City of Brentwood will ask the Tennessee Supreme Court to hear its appeal in a lawsuit with the Williamson County Election Commission.

Earlier coverage...

County Election Comission files lawsuit against city

Judge rules in city's favor regarding voting

Commission files appeal; $40,000 in legal bills and rising

Judges question validity of election commission vs. city disputes

City may have to pay county's $50,000 legal bill

“I think the spirit of compromise has to work on both sides,” Commissioner Anne Dunn said when she made the motion that will potentially send the case that began in January of 2012 back to a courtroom.

Following a ruling in the Tennessee Appeals Court overturning the decision by Chancery Court Judge Tim Easter that the local Election Commission cannot demand use of a public building, the city proposed that the Brentwood Library only be used for one week during early voting as opposed to the 45 days during November general elections. It also asked that all dates for early voting be brought to the city one year in advance.

“I’m extremely disappointed in the election commission for rejecting this offer,” Commissioner Rod Freeman said. “We tried to make the library available and there’s no reason they couldn’t work with us.”

City Attorney Roger Horner said the city has until May 21 to send a request for an appeal hearing to the Supreme Court. It could take several weeks for that court to decide if it will hear the city’s appeal.

Most commissioners expressed their frustration and disappointment in the WCEC. But not all were ready to invest more city funds into the case.

“I’m all for fighting, but I think we need to think hard on the morals of this issue with spending more tax payer funds," said newly named Vice Mayor Jill Burgin said.

Mayor Betsy Crossley echoed Burgin’s sentiment regarding hesitation toward spending more money only to have the appeal denied.

The motion passed 4 to 3 with Commissioners Dunn, Regina Smithson, Rhea Little and Freeman voting in favor. Commissioners Burgin, Crossley and Mark Gorman opposed the motion. 

Richel Albright is a reporter with Brentwood Home Page. She can be contacted at richel@brentwoodhomepage.com or you can follow her on Twitter @rwalbright. 

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