Bleeding ends in lawsuit against county residents
DA praises County Commissioners for stopping bleeding of old wound
Today Craig County Associate District Judge Gary Maxey, sitting on a change of venue in the case of Material Service Corp. v. Rogers County, determined attorney fees and other costs related to the roughly $22 million judgment as ordered by the Oklahoma Court of Civil appeals.
That judgment, in an inverse condemnation case, became final when the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously declined to hear the county’s last possible appeal on March 1, 2012.
After careful scrutiny of the documentation from Material Service to ensure accuracy and find savings, the Rogers County Board of Commissioners agreed to the entry of an order by the Court awarding Material Service “reasonable” attorney fees of $5,573,283.10. The Court of Civil Appeals had previously determined this calculation of 25% of the total collections to be reasonable.
“While no one is happy about the order, I believe the County Commissioners have taken the best possible action for Rogers County,” said Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley. “Given the decisions by the Court of Civil Appeals and the careful analysis that has been done of the figures, I am pleased that the Commissioners have stopped the bleeding at $27,929,657.12.
“At this point further delay or opposition would likely only add more costs for the taxpayers who will already be undeservedly burdened by this situation which the Commissioners and I inherited and have done everything in our power to redress.”
The judgment will be paid off by Rogers County taxpayers.
The current proposal is a one third cent sales tax to be paid off over about 15 years, if approved by voters on June 26.
“We are hopeful that the sales tax initiative will pass in June,” said Scott Marsh, Rogers County Assessor. “Should the sales tax not pass it will hit businesses particularly hard and will likely discourage new business development,” Marsh said.
Steidley said a very small amount of interest will still accrue during the payment process.
“It accrues interest until a bond is sold, so yes until the plaintiffs get paid it accrues. That’s why the commissioners wanted to do a bond. It pays all at once, unlike property tax would continue accruing interest until paid,” the DA said.