Madison County attorney's expenses under microscope - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Madison County attorney's expenses under microscope

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By Marsha Thompson - bio | email

Now Three On Your Side tracks taxpayer money. This time in Madison county.

Documents indicate the Madison County Board of Supervisor's attorney is pulling down his regular monthly salary,  plus tens of thousands of dollars on top of that.

Attorney Eric Hamers hourly charges include some heavy legal work. But small stuff like emails even telephone conferences with Madison supervisors cost taxpayers additional bucks.  And these add on charges add up quickly.

Jackson Jambalaya reviewed several public records. Madison County taxpayers have shelled out over $654 thousand dollars since July of 2008 to the County attorney. Under contract, Madison supervisors pay Hamer $3,500 per month. Records show scores of additional charges he has billed the county for. And some of the small stuff adds up big  time.

For example, a January 11, 2010 invoice lists a meeting with T. Johnson re: various issues.  The cost to Madison County taxpayers. $292.50. January 11, 2010, emails to various people cost $448.50. A January 5, 2010 service date indicates on an invoice, a charge of $156.00 to research "contract of City of Canton and draft letter to City of Canton re: Animal Control.

The bottom lines indicates Eric Hamer is pulling in an average of $24,000 a month. Far and above his salary. According to state law Supervisors can pay their County attorney over and above set salary. In response, Hamer told me today, "I don't have any interest in responding to base- less allegations."

At least one State official says he's interested in looking closer to see exactly what taxpayers were charged. State Auditor Stacey Pickering tells WLBT News certain conditions apply when it comes to double billing for taxpayer services.

Pickering who is involved in an audit of Madison County road contracts with the Madison County Engineer says his staff will eventually look into this matter, adding,  just like he would any other county.

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