LSWMD asks for declaratory judgement in CAO dispute

March 8, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

On behalf of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Danielle Parker filed a complaint for declaratory judgement on several issues pertaining to the LSWMD and the Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

The 17-page document names Ironton and Lawrence County Area Community Action, Dale Burchman, Board of Directors Chairman and D.R. Gossett, Executive Director of the Ironton and Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization, as defendants.

The complaint asks for declaratory judgment on accounting,injunctive relief and damages and was filed in Lawrence County Common Please Court Friday afternoon.

It has been four months since the LSSWMD cut ties with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization. In the transition, there as been a dispute between the agencies regarding the ownership of vehicles formerly operated by the district and about $150,000 in funds.

Throughout that four-month period, information and documents have been gathered from both sides trying to seek a resolution to the issue. Unable to come to a resolution, LSSWMD is now seeking a declaratory judgement.

The document reads, “On or about the 16th day of Nov. 2004, Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a written agreement for technical and administrative services associated with administration and management of the Lawrence-Scioto SWMD. On or about the Second day of March 2006, Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a written amended agreement for technical and administrative services for Lawrence-Scioto SWMD, the implementation and operation of the Litter Collection Program, community Outreach and Education Program, Drop-Off Trailer Recycling Program and the Litter Enforcement Program. Said agreement took effect on Jan. 1, 2006 and continued to be effective through Dec. 31, 2006.”

The document further states that a certificate of the fiscal officer was not attached to the March 2, 2006 amended agreement executed by and between the Plaintiff and Defendants. Failure to include the certificate of the fiscal officer is fatal to the validity of the contract therein rendering the 2006 Amended Agreement void as a matter of law.

Within the document, there are six claims for relief. The first claim deals with the vehicles in question; a 2008 GMC “Savana Pass Van 35000”, a 2006 GMC Envoy, a 2010 limited edition Econo Hauler utility trailer, a leonard open utility trailer, a 2008 Pontiac G6 4-Cyl, and a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox.

LSSWMD is asking for a judgement in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $230,255.59 and any amount in excess that is deemed appropriate by the court as reimbursement for any and all overpayment made by Plaintiff for compensation to Defendants, for the time provided and expenses incurred up to the termination date.

LSSWMD is also asking for a judgement in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $84,134.49 as reimbursement for any and all funds paid by Plaintiff for the purchase of the vehicles.

In response to the news of this document being filed today, Gossett said, “They (LSSWMD) have a right to peruse any avenue they are entitled to.”

He said there were never really any negations between the two agencies.

“The thing that was most frustrating about it, was that there were no negations. I don’t know what they wanted to do and I don’t understand their approach. If they want to go this route we will continue to take care of business and do the things we do,” Gossett said.

Gossett believes there is no money owed to LSSWMD from CAO but, CAO is owed money.

“We are owed for 10 days of services as I understand it. We’re not holding our breath by coincidence. This is a pretty clear matter I don’t know what is going to be accomplished this direction but, we will allow the legal process to take it’s course and we’ve got a lot more pressing matters to focus on,” Gossett said.

For more information about the LSSWMD visit www.lsswmd.org.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitiasmedia.com.