(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz has been given more ticks on the clock to pay La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman by a lawyer representing the La Porte County Commissioners. The extra time came with a stern warning, though.
Alan Sirinek, special counsel for the LaPorte County Commissioners, said he’d extended the August 8 deadline to Friday for Stabosz to pay the balance of what’s owed to Friedman, or he will take Stabosz to court.
“I am publicly offering Auditor Stabosz a face-saving way to avoid the expense and trouble connected with this litigation if he will simply pay the approved claim for legal services,” Sirinek said.
The amount owed to Friedman is $1,107. Stabosz said he had not paid the amount because he had questions about the work reflected in the billing. However, Stabosz said he would gladly pay Friedman if he produced documentation verifying the work was legitimate.
As the executive branch of county government, the commissioners ordered Stabosz last week to pay what’s owed to Friedman or face legal action that could result in him being fined and paying legal costs. So far, Stabosz has refused.
Stabosz insists he has a legal and constitutional right in his job capacity to audit claims even if the commissioners have approved them.
Sirinek, though, disagreed.
He said Stabosz “has no justification under Indiana law to withhold payment on an itemized claim that the Commissioners have approved.”
Sirinek also said Stabosz has no right to the information he’s seeking from Friedman under attorney-client privilege.
“No attorney would submit to such a request, particularly for such a bogus justification of itemized billing entries,” Sirinek said.
Sirinek said Stabosz is carrying out a “personal and childish vendetta” that’s not just “counterproductive to the operation of good government” but serves “as a continuing waste of taxpayer money for wasteful and unnecessary litigation.”
He urged Stabosz to pay Friedman by Monday or “I can only promise that your vendetta will become a lot more expensive,” Sirinek said.