County chooses attorney for city’s lawsuit

Published 4:48 pm Friday, November 21, 2014

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted at a Special Called Meeting Thursday to select attorney Tony Rowell of Hall Booth Smith, P.C. to represent the county as it moves forward with the recent lawsuit filed by the City of Bainbridge.

The board also voted to select Harrison Tillman, Jr., of Valdosta as a consultant to the case.

“He came highly recommended,” Decatur County Chairman Frank Loeffler said of choosing Rowell. “We know his background and history. He’s a good one.”

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Rowell is the managing partner of Hall Booth Smith’s Tifton office, according the firm’s website. He currently serves as the county attorney for Coffee, Ware, Tift and Worth counties.

Tillman belongs to the firm Tillman and Tillman, which specializes in governmental audit services, according to their website.

Last Friday, Decatur County was delivered a lawsuit from the City of Bainbridge alleging the county of inequities with their portion of the Service Delivery Strategy between the two entities, pursuant to the Service Delivery Strategy Act.

County officials have called the suit “premature,” and have expressed their disappointment with not being able to settle the Service Delivery argument.

“We would’ve given anything in the world to not do this,” Loeffler said.

“But the city was not willing to sit down and talk to us. They put up a big smoke screen like they wanted to, but they really didn’t want to.”