Bowman: It's the wrong time to do anything like this - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bowman: It's the wrong time to do anything like this

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

In the midst of bankruptcy and other legal proceedings, Jefferson County's top county attorney is put on paid leave. It was a decision made by the commission president due to "multiple issues."

Some other commissioners say they spoke with Commission President David Carrington over the weekend but about attorney Jeff Sewell. But they never thought any action would be taken without a commission vote.

For nearly 30 years, Sewell offered legal advice and defended the county in court. Monday, he was met at work by the HR director and put on paid leave.

"I knew there were issues between Carrington and Sewell, but a decision of this magnitude shouldn't be made by one person. It should be made by the whole commission," said Commissioner George Bowman.

Carrington did it using his appoint authority over the county attorney's office. He wouldn't go on camera but said the decision was made due to "multiple issues on multiple fronts." He said it was not the result of a one time even and the events unfolded overtime.

But Bowman does question timing in the middle of bankruptcy and a federal hiring practices order. He also says it comes less than a week after Sewell sent out a memo about violation of the county manager law.

"This is the wrong time to do anything like this," said Bowman.

Bowman planned on speaking with the other commissioners before Tuesday's meeting . He wanted to discuss the need for a commission vote on the issue.

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