Discussion on Grand Jury Ends in Dismissal of Attorney
First public hearing on proposed budget begins.
The County Commissioners unanimously voted to terminate the employment of Susan Churuti, who as county attorney was put on paid administrative leave July 31, pending the outcome of a Grand Jury investigation. On Aug. 28, The Grand Jury released its presentment regarding the county's purchase of land owned by county Property Appraiser Jim Smith. It had concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing. The report discussed concerns surrounding the issue.
The commission's vote came during discussion Sept. 4 of the Grand Jury conclusions, scheduled for the beginning of the regularly scheduled commission meeting. Churuti was fired without cause and will receive six-month severance pay, as indicated in her contract. The commission agreed that Assistant County Attorney Jim Bennett will continue as acting county attorney.
The commission also gave County Administrator Steve Spratt a public reprimand and directed him to improve communications and government, with a progress report to be received from the commission by the end of December.
The Grand Jury recommendations that were discussed will be brought up at a future workshop meeting, when the commission will review additional information and discuss actions. Among the issues included are:
At the conclusion of the discussion, the commission continued with the public hearing portion of the meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. This is the first of two public hearings on the proposed budget and tentative millage rate.
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