Judge Lovell will allow commission suits to continue
Published 9:59 am Thursday, June 20, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
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Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell will allow lawsuits filed by the Lowndes County Commission against Karl Bell, Hayneville Plaza LLC and the South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District (SCABC) to go forward.
According to orders electronically filed on Tuesday, June 18 by Lovell, the motion to dismiss case CV-2013-900014.00 by Karl Bell and Hayneville Plaza LLC and a motion to dismiss or alternatively, motion for more definite statement filed by the South Central Alabama Cooperative Disrtict (SCABC) are denied and the motion to dismiss case CV-20013-90008.00 by the South Central Alabama Cooperative District (SCABC) was denied.
Christmas Y. Green, a Selma attorney hired by the Lowndes County Commission to handle the cases, issued a statement Wednesday, “The ruling means the cases will move forward.”
A lawsuit was filed Feb. 25 in Lowndes County Circuit Court is between the plaintiff Lowndes County Commission and defendants Karl Bell and Hayneville Plaza LLC and the South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District.
Among relief sought, the Lawsuit against Bell and the SCABC seeks compensatory damages for breach of contract, $500,000 to be placed in escrow and cost of litigation be paid by the defendants.
Previously on Feb. 6, a lawsuit was also filed by the commission against the South Central Broadband Cooperative.
It asks that rent money collected by the SCABC is property of the Lowndes County Commission, the SCABC be stopped from expending other funds, the SCABC make a full accounting of money collected and spent and the balance of money be paid to the county commission.
The SCABC was originally formed to own and manage a broadband communications infrastructure designed to bridge the digital divide in South Central Alabama.
The original project to construct 2,200 miles of fiber-optic broadband network in Butler, Crenshaw, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Lowndes, Macon and Wilcox counties was to be funded by a $59 million in federal grant and $27 million in matching funds.
While funding to grant recipient Trillion Communications was terminated in October of 2012, the SCABC has continued efforts to move a broadband project forward.