Suit against Pelham set for July 11 hearing

Published 3:47 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A lawsuit filed by a Birmingham attorney against several Pelham officials is scheduled to be heard in the Shelby County Circuit Court on July 11, said Pelham City Attorney Butch Ellis.

Attorney Wayne Morse Jr. filed the lawsuit in early 2012 on behalf of Pelham city employees Carolyn Mitchell, Tammy Tankersley, Mary Gray, Judy Walters, Allison Miller, Connie Buse, Randy White, Justin Martin, Dale Bailey, James Coggeshall, David McCall, Cynthia McCall, Pelham Personnel Board member Jim Collins and former personnel board member James Burks.

The lawsuit names Pelham Mayor Don Murphy, City Clerk and Finance Director Tom Seale, Human Resources Director Jerry Nolen and Marketing Manager Eva Shepherd as defendants.

The suit claims former Pelham City Councilman Mike Dickens’ appointment as the city’s municipal court administrator was “invalid under Alabama law.” The suit also claims, among other things, the city allegedly took city employee actions contrary to the city’s Personnel Board Act.

Ellis said he and Morse are “working to hold to” the July 11 court date, but must collect much more information before the case is ready to be heard.

“There is a lot of discovery that has to happen on both sides,” Ellis said. “The city obviously is anxious to get this concluded.

“We want to hold to that date if at all possible, but right now it’s just too early to tell,” Ellis said.