ELMIRA, N.Y. – On June 28th all fifteen members of the Chemung County Legislature along with Bryan Maggs, the Legislature’s attorney, were served with a second lawsuit by Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss.
The first lawsuit brought by Moss alleges the Legislature does not have the power to choose its own attorney or draft legislation. After several adjournments made at Moss’ request, the first lawsuit is set to be argued in Chemung County Supreme Court on July 19 at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Hon. Eugene Faughnan.
In the second lawsuit Moss claims the Legislature acted improperly when it amended the County Charter to clear up any ambiguities related to the Legislative attorney position.
“The Legislature has had the power to choose its own attorney at all times since 1984,” said David Manchester, Chairperson to the Chemung County Legislature. “In early March we passed a Local Law that makes the Charter consistent with the law and practice in Chemung County for the past 35 years.”
The Legislature passed the Local Law by a vote of 14-1. Moss vetoed it, and the Legislature voted 14-1 to override his veto.
“We are extremely disappointed that Moss filed a second lawsuit. Not only does it result in additional unnecessary expenditures of time and taxpayer money, but it is also very disruptive to have one branch of county government repeatedly sue the other,” Manchester said.
“Moreover,” Manchester added, “Attorney Maggs has done an excellent job for the Legislature so far. Despite Moss’ attempt to fire him in February, Attorney Maggs has not missed a day of work or a singe legislative meeting. He is always prepared, very knowledgeable and has earned the full respect of the Legislature.”
John Burin, Vice Chairperson of the Legislature, concurred and added, “We need to move on from this distracting issue. Far more important issues demand our full attention. Poverty, crime, job growth and population loss, to name a few”
The Legislature and Maggs have 20 days to respond to the second lawsuit. It is scheduled to be argued in Chemung County Supreme Court on July 19, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.