Jackson County legislators sue Jackson County Executive Frank White over COMBAT control

Update: White issues statement in response

Bill Grady
January 16, 2018 - 4:14 pm

Jackson County legislators and County Executive Frank White are going to court.

Legislators are seeking a writ of prohibition in the 16th Circuit Court. They want a judge to decide who is in charge of COMBAT, the county's initiative to prevent violence, treat addiction and stop crime in the community.

The legislature's position is that the head of COMBAT is Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. White says the job is his.

Legislative chair Scott Burnett said White's office engages in retribution against his perceived political opponents.

 "The way Scott Jacoby was treated last week when he wouldn't sign the transfers to pay these people; he was immediately put on administrative leave," Burnett said.

Late Tuesday White issued a statement:

“I was elected to this office to do what is right. And as County Executive, that has and always will be the basis for any decision I make. I am committed to working with everyone to move Jackson County forward, however, I am not willing to violate the charter or law to do so. Any action taken by me and my administration has been in accordance with the legal advice of the County Counselor’s Office and the legal opinion the County received from outside counsel.

“Despite numerous warnings, the Legislature has continued to ignore the significant legal issues surrounding the oversight of COMBAT, which has led to uncertainty and confusion among staff and the community. Therefore, it is important we have a resolution to this issue as quickly as possible, but it must be done appropriately. I am dedicated to working with everyone in the meantime to ensure that COMBAT continues to be a cause for good in our community.”

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