Case against former La Grange mayor continues

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Judge denies motion for default judgement

By Tracy Harris

La Grange city officials filed a motion Dec. 1 for a judge to reverse his decision in their case against a former mayor.

City officials claim Elsie Carter, whose term ended last December, left office with more than $4,500 in city property. 

City Attorney Steve Emery requested default judgement after Carter failed respond within 20 days to a May court order. Carter filed a response several days after the deadline.

But Oldham Circuit Court Special Judge Bailey Taylor denied default judgement and called the May court order ambiguous. 

Taylor said the timetable in the May order “yields a nonsensical result at best.” 

The city did not file an amended complaint, Taylor said, so Carter had no obligation to respond.

“We think he got it wrong,” Emery said of Taylor’s ruling. 

The motion to reconsider includes notes from a hearing with Conrad that laid out the timetable.

If the ruling stands, the case will continue to discovery and trial. 

The case began in February, and court documents include a two-page inventory of missing items, including a laptop computer, portable hard drive, three digital cameras, six four-line office telephones, an iced tea maker and multiple software bundles.

Carter offered the city a $335 check for the conference table and a desk, but Emery returned the check and requested Carter return the furniture. 

Some items, including the conference table, have been returned. 

The city also claims Carter improperly sold a house owned by the city, and requested a judgement declaring the house contract invalid and restoring ownership to the city.

Emery hopes a judge will reconsider the timetable and overturn the ruling.