(La Porte, IN) - La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz is vowing to freeze all future payments to the county attorney if he's taken to court for not obeying an order to pay the county attorney what's owed to him from work in the past.
Last week, the La Porte County Commissioners ordered Stabosz to pay the balance from invoices submitted by La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman by October 8th.
If he fails to meet the deadline, the legal action would be because the auditor ignored a lawfully-given order from the executive branch of the county government under a mandate given by the commissioners in a 2-to-1 vote.
Stabosz today again insisted he has legal authority as auditor not to pay claims until his questions have been satisfied. In a letter to Commissioner Rich Mrozinski, Stabosz said he would "declare war" on his office and his constitutional authority to audit claims if sued.
“My job is to examine and audit the claims. There’s a check and balance here,” Stabosz said.
He also said he would freeze all bill payments to Friedman for his legal work until the matter has been settled in court.
Stabosz said the amount he's withholding from Friedman amounts to about $1,000, and all Friedman has to do to collect is show him documentation verifying the billing is for legitimate work.
A lawsuit alleging defamation of character filed earlier this year by Friedman against Stabosz is winding its way through the judicial process.
Stabosz alleges that Friedman runs county government, including the two commissioners that voted for the order to pay. Stabosz believes that the courts could decide on Stabosz's motion to dismiss the case sometime in December.