Special to SEGAZINE
Pierce County has agreed to pay former Emergency Medical Service Director Ken Justice $100,000 to settle his lawsuit.
The settlement, dated Sept. 15, was finally released by the county last Friday. According to documents filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the parties involved filed a joint dismissal resolving the case September 30. Justice had worked with the county 28 years and also held the roles of coordinator of the county fire departments as well as director of Emergency Management and Risk Management.
County attorney Willis Blacknall III says he received a final copy of the document from Todd Carter, an attorney in Brunswick who represented the county in the case. Carter had been hired by Pierce County’s liability insurance company.
The Blackshear Times, noting the filing more than two months ago, had given the county a request for public disclosure of the settlement in early October. Georgia law does not allow settlement of lawsuits by public bodies to be done in secret but The Times has been continually rebuffed by lawyers and county officials. Commissioners insisted they were not party to details of the settlement discussions and that the matter was in the hands of attorneys. Justice also declined to discuss the issue. Despite the denials, rumors had been floating for several weeks that the matter would involve a payment to Justice “in the neighborhood of $100,000” — which turned out to be true.