Municipal court issues come to front at Snead meeting

District Attorney Pamela Casey sent notice to Snead Town Hall that its municipal court has fallen four months behind in payments to her office. The letter explained that payments for each month are expected by the 15th of the following month.

The next to last paragraph reads: “The last payment received from Snead Municipal Court was on February 28, 2019. This payment was invoiced to the amount that was collected for the month of October 2018 dated and signed by the Court Clerk on February 26, 2019. This payment was received after multiple attempts to collect by contacting the Court Clerk.”

In reference to the letter, Snead Mayor La’Shone Price asked court clerk Jennifer Adams if she wished to make a response. She indicated she did, but assumed that needed to occur in an executive session.

Asked of that, town attorney Brett King advised that there is no requirement for any executive sessions, but that legislation does permit them under identified circumstances. He suggested the council table the issue until its next scheduled meeting and then consider whether or not to proceed and whether or not the matter merited an executive session.

King also reported that Snead judge Dalton NeSmith and court attorney Mark Sapp had expressed a willingness to meet with the council over court activities. Council members asked that King arrange their attendance at the next council session.

As the March 25 meeting continued, Price asked town clerk Rae Ware if there were other matters (not on the agenda) she wished to address. Ware spoke then of concerns she had over the town court’s software provider, Courtware Solutions.

Ware reminded councilors that they had been advised that the provider would not charge the town for “old” cases begun before the town employed them in October. Ware said that the company had levied the charge on virtually all, if not all, of the town’s October cases.

Ware indicated she had a hard time believing that all those cases were new. She reported she quizzed a representative of the company about court records listing case numbers, defendants, and amounts paid. She said the representative told her he could not provide that. She questioned how the town or court auditor could decipher the financial situation.

Adams contended there had been no charges for old cases. She asserted she had hand checked every case and found no overcharges. She said the company did provide details, and the representative had not told Ware he could not. Ware disputed that saying, “Yes, he did [say that].”

Adams reported she had spoken with company representatives who have offered to have a consultant attend a council meeting to set the record straight. Councilman Greg Ogles asked Adams to arrange that for the next council meeting [currently scheduled for April 8].