Motion to dismiss lawsuit against Sheriff successful but to continue against county PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 12:55



According to recent court documents, Scott County Commissioners got good news and bad news about a lawsuit for damages filed in August by a former inmate of the Scott County Security Center.

Shawn Malzahn is the plaintiff in the civil tort filed this past August against the Scott County Sheriff's Department, Dan McClain as Scott County Sheriff and Scott County. He reportedly suffered injuries while an inmate in the local jail in 2013 after allegedly being attacked by a fellow inmate.

A motion to dismiss the action was filed on behalf of the Sheriff's Department and the county in November with Circuit Court Judge Roger Duvall issuing his order on the motion in December.

In his order, Judge Duvall noted that Malzahn's injuries “...are directly a result of the physical acts of another inmate of the Scott County Security Center.” He went on to say the Sheriff has the duty to administer the jail “ a manner that preserves the safety of the inmates...” and “...It is the duty of the County to establish and maintain a county jail. The (state) legislature intended that 'maintain' be synonymous with 'kept in repair.' ”

That said, Judge Duvall granted the motion to dismiss the Sheriff's Department from the lawsuit but denied it as to Scott County.

He explained: “The Plaintiff has alleged certain facts with the state or repair or condition of the jail as having a causal (a relationship between cause and effect) relationship to the eventual acts that led to Plaintiff's claimed injuries... The complaint and the notice of deficiency in the state of repair precludes dismissal.”

Consequently, the lawsuit continues against the county. Commissioners are completing the construction of a new jail facility, which is expected to be in operation some time in January. Plans for the original jail building are still nebulous, with Commissioners recently being allotted $2 million by the Scott County Council to renovate it.

Malzahn is currently serving a ten-year sentence with the Indiana Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to Class B felony robbery.


County's Visitors Commission coffers end year well ahead of 2014 income PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 12:54


Members of the Scott County Visitors Commission (SCVC) ended the year on a nice note, a lunch served to the board and staff.

And everyone around the table had cause to be fairly content when looking back at 2015, a difficult year, to say the least.

When the HIV outbreak surfaced locally in the first quarter of the year, income derived from a tax charged per room rental at local motels plunged from nearly $25,000 in January to around $10,500 in February. In 2014, February intake was $25,108.96.

Slowly, however, income crept up and, according to figures documented for the first 11 months of 2015, the SCVC is well over its 2014 total income, despite unexpected dips in May and September which were more than compensated by better-than-average intakes in July and October. Some of that disparity could be a lag in state reporting, although it was commonly thought the slash in February was attributable to all of that HIV news making national and international newspapers.

Currently, the SCVC has accumulated $245,013.75, an increase over the previous year of nearly $5,600. Final figures reflecting all 12 months will be announced at the Commission's meeting on January 5.

Fair Board President John McNeely and member Todd Richey appeared before the group to discuss the board's efforts to organize its financial information since taking office in September.

After hearing the men's reports and about the board's willingness to accept a SCVC board member on its board, the VC voted unanimously to provide $7,000 to the Fair Association based on 2015 activities.

David Church was selected to serve on the Fair Board.

Marketing director Brandon Polley provided his report of activities in November. Polley has helped with Courtyard Christmas and is working on website updates for the SCVC. He was also preparing the 2016 budget.

The marketing budget spent through November totaled $83,426. Some of those dollars were spent promoting the county through state, group travel and festival guides as well as paying expenses of attending travel conventions and maintaining electronic billboards on Interstate 65 near Edinburgh and in Clark County.

Salem Speedway advertising was also part of the expense as was a $10,000 matching grant for the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum.

The next meeting of the Visitors Commission will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 5. Members meet at the Scottsburg Heritage Station, the renovated train depot on North Main Street.

Large crowd leaves Commissioners' meeting after APC board told to talk to attorney PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 12:52


A standing-room-only crowd attended a portion of the Scott County Commissioners' meeting on December 16.

But most if not all interested in an apparent impasse between the Scott County Area Plan Commission (APC) and the Commissioners left the meeting shortly after a brief appearance by APC board members before the Commissioners.

Of the 40 or so attending, it was apparent that most if not all of the people were supporting the recent appointment of APC administrative assistant April Ramoni to the APC's executive director's position. That position has been empty since the former executive director, Alexandria Voignier, resigned to take a post with the City of Columbus, Ohio, in mid-August.

Ramoni served under Voignier for nearly two years. She first applied for the job when it was advertised in October. However, the advertisement for the post was declared incorrect and it was advertised again. Ramoni and a former county commissioner, Mark Hays, interviewed for the job in November.

Commissioners were not happy with the APC's decision to appoint Ramoni, citing the APC's alleged variation from the job as described in the advertisements, which were published in these newspapers and posted at the Courthouse.

At the Commissioners' meeting, Board of Commissioners President Larry Blevins addressed the three APC members who attended, Megan Voyles, Mark Whittymore and Chris Wakeman and their attorney, Mike Carter.

“Commissioners wear different hats at different times,” Blevins began. “Today we are here to arbitrate. We believe that the (APC) board varied from the job description in making their decision. We request that your board meet with your attorney and come up with a compromise so that a lawsuit is not filed (against the APC).”

Carter commented, “As lead counsel, I believe that is the best thing to do.” Blevins told the APC members, “Your attorney can better explain this to you.”

Whittymore addressed the Commissioners, telling them, “Our decision (to appoint Ramoni) is based upon both job description clippings. So, we're sitting here today, wondering why we are here.” Blevins again urged the board members to take the matter back to the full APC board and talk to their attorney.

Voyles and Whittymore got up and left the room. Wakeman continued to sit in front of the Commissioners as those officials indicated they were ready for more business. Wakeman then commented, “We were here last week, too, (at the Commissioners' meeting on December 9) and now you're saying we've got to do all this again?” He too stood up and left the meeting.

His departure apparently encouraged all of those who wanted to hear a discussion of the issue to leave as well.

It was learned soon after that meeting that Carter resigned his position as legal counsel for the APC.

The APC has since notified its members that it will meet at its normal time at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13. An agenda of that meeting has not yet been posted.

Several injury accidents occur during long holiday weekend in Scottsburg, Scott County PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 08:56

Three injury accidents happened in Scottsburg and Scott County during the Christmas holiday period.

‘Heritage Barns of Scott County’ a Bicentennial Legacy Project for community PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 08:55

A dual partnership between the Scott County Arts Council (SCAC) and the Scott County Visitors Commission (SCVC) has given birth to the Heritage Barn Legacy Project in which all residents of the community can participate.

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