T'Town Council Pays Barrett Legal Fees
Taylortown has found the money to pay the legal feels for Mayor Ulysses Barrett.
In a brief regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Town Council approved a measure to move $5,800 from one section of the town budget to another.
Barrett was charged with three misdemeanors related to his work for the town as a result of an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation in 2007. His home was searched, town records seized. The Town Council at that time voted to pay Barrett's legal bill.
All but one charge was thrown out before court or dismissed without trial. The sole remaining charge, that he used public funds to pay an attorney representing a private resident, went to trial in Moore County District Court.
After hearing testimony by the town attorney that Taylortown derived a benefit by having him represent a private citizen in a planning board case where the municipality had no standing, the judge ruled in Barrett's favor.
A new makeup of the council following the last election had put Barrett's opponents in the majority. They replaced him with Jesse Fuller as mayor and rescinded the previous action to pay his legal bill.
Barrett was reinstated as a mayor when new council member Charlotte Worthy apologized, reversed her position, and asked for his forgiveness if he would be willing to be mayor again.
In a subsequent meeting of the council, the commitment to pay Barrett's attorney fee was restored with the provision that funds could be found in the budget to do it. At this meeting, a budget amendment to move money for that purpose originally failed for lack of a second. Worthy was late arriving.
After she arrived, Barrett proposed revisiting the budget amendment. Worthy supported doing that, voted for it, and it passed. Ellis Ray arrived late, having been at an out-of-town funeral, so his vote was counted as in favor of the measure. With Worthy, Jeffrey Moody and Barrett voting for the amendment, Ray's opposition would not have defeated it even had he been there to cast a no vote.
Moving the money from the town's Youth Services Department to its Governing Board Department means the check may now be written based on the board's previous authorization.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
More like this story