Sheriff, Commission face off in Supreme Court - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff, Commission face off in Supreme Court

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February 16, 2004

Atlanta-- In September, a Superior Court judge ordered the Dougherty County Commission to reinstate more than $300,000 it cut from the Sheriff's Department budget.

Sheriff Jamil Saba argued the cuts were intended to eliminate six investigators and patrol positions-- a move he said would prevent him from performing his constitutional duties.

The judge agreed, but the County Commission appealed that decision, and this afternoon both sides were heard by Georgia's Supreme Court justices. Attorneys for Sheriff Saba and the County Commission were each given 20 minutes to present their case and answer questions from the justices.

In a brief filed by the County Commission, they argue that there should have been a trial jury in the case, instead of a bench decision. They also said the court was wrong to prohibit the commission from removing any money from the Sheriff's budget, as well as ordering the commission to reinstate the cut money and pay Saba's attorney's fees.

A ruling from the Supreme Court could take as long as four months or more.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com