Judge King temporarily halts merit board hearing

Circuit Judge Steven King has placed a temporary restraining order on the Blount County Merit Board’s Feb. 17 scheduled hearing. Geneva Wall has challenged her dismissal as bookkeeper with the city of Oneonta. City attorney Alex Smith had contended last month that the board lacked jurisdiction, disputing Wall’s appeal.

The board solicited a response from Wall and her attorney John Saxon. On Jan. 28, the board heard from both attorneys and concluded it did have jurisdiction. Smith sought a declaratory judgment to the contrary from King, who instead issued the restraint.

The order applies only for 10 days, meaning that King will likely hear arguments before Friday, Feb. 26.