According to Commissioner Steve Brown, work is being done to settle the long-running district voting lawsuit, and he is claiming that Commission Chairman Charles Oddo is exceeding his authority in the process.
In an email sent to Oddo and local media, Brown says he has been contacted by media outlets about the lawsuit and that the NAACP president says there will be a settlement. He further said that leadership of the local Democratic party has told elected officials within the county that the settlement is in the works.
In response, Leonard Presberg, a member of the Board of Education and Chair of the Fayette County Democratic Committee, said he was not aware of anything imminent even though there is support for it.
“I know that there are lots of people in the county who wish the Board of Commissioners would settle this lawsuit. I know the business community is interested in that, and people have told me they have been talking to their commissioners urging them to settle the suit.”
He added, “As far as any direct contact between any of the actual parties in the case, I don’t know of anything specific or of any parties having any substantive discussions.”
Brown goes on to say he is “seriously worried” that Oddo has exceeded his authority. He says he has asked Oddo which Plaintiffs he has spoken to, when he has spoken to them, and what was discussed.
“Have both Commissioner (David) Barlow and you, who favored a lengthy legal process all the way to the point of final resolution on behalf of and with the support of a majority of the citizens of Fayette County, now decided to concede everything right before the judge’s ruling?” says Brown in the email.
Reached for comment, Oddo was disappointed by the email, saying, “The Board of Commissioners has always had a policy of not discussing items that are under litigation. I have been abiding by that. Apparently Steve isn’t.”
Oddo reasserted that any litigation discussed in executive session is not meant for public dissemination.
“It is not supposed to be aired out in public, and everybody knows that,” said Oddo. “We’re in litigation, and I can’t comment one way or the other. Nobody should comment one way or the other.”