(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte County Auditor has been sued again.
La Porte County Commissioner Attorney Shaw Friedman is seeking over $120,000 from Tim Stabosz. The lawsuit claims Friedman is owed slightly more than $40,000 for work on claims that Stabosz is not paying.
According to the lawsuit filed by attorney David Ambers, Friedman, under state law, is entitled to three times the amount owed to him as compensation for legal expenses and other things such as lost time.
The lawsuit is filed against Stabosz personally, not LaPorte County.
According to the lawsuit, Stabosz's withholding payment results from his personal feelings outside the scope of his duties as auditor against Friedman. The suit also contains a copy of the contract between Friedman and the La Porte County Commissioners for his service.
The contract stipulates that Friedman is to be paid $150.00 per hour not just for legal work but also for advice to elected officials and department heads, health and public safety matters, and crafting resolutions.
Other work allowed under the contract includes governmental relations and policy work as requested or required in various forums, including administrative and regulatory settings.
Last year, Friedman filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Stabosz for alleging Friedman runs county government by controlling elected officials. That lawsuit remains undecided.
In response to the latest lawsuit, Stabosz said he's not paying claims for things like political work and the duties of a county administrator.
He also said his actions have nothing to do with his personal feelings toward Friedman. Instead, Stabosz said he's reviewing the claims strictly as an auditor and withholding payment until Friedman provides more information to verify the work in question.
Stabosz also alleged he's being sued personally because Friedman might have to step down as county attorney until the lawsuit is decided if he sued him as an auditor.
“You can’t have a lawsuit against the county with which you work for because that’s a conflict of interest. He’d have to step down. So, he gets clever and sues me personally. We’re going to get it thrown out of court,” Stabosz said.
The lawsuit was filed in La Porte Superior Court 3.