At a special meeting called by the Johnson County Commissioners Thursday morning, County Assessor Cindy Rogers asked for the voucher submitted for legal fees to be returned to her, and that the county not pay those fees.
Commission Chair Smokey Wildeman opened the meeting by reading a short prepared statement, saying the disagreements over the bill for legal services over the proposed lease of water rights in Lake DeSmet had gone on long enough, and that each elected official needed to question their motives and ask themselves if their actions were in the best interest of the people of Johnson County.
Both County Attorney Ken DeCock and Rogers gave their view on the Attorney General's decision, with Rogers and the commissioners believing the AG's opinion was that they were within their rights to seek outside legal counsel and DeCock's position being that Rogers did not have that right. Both Rogers and the commissioners have independent legal counsel backing their interpretation of the AG's opinion, they said.
Rogers said that although she appreciated the support of the commission in the matter, she wanted them to give her voucher back and not pay the legal fees.
Commission Chair Smokey Wildeman then spoke on the matter, saying debates can go on forever but that he hoped the issue was now done.
He concluded by saying the commissioners believe Rogers has done nothing wrong and that she has done a good job bringing the assessments on property in the county in-line with current practices. He then commended her for coming forward and withdrawing the voucher, saying “it takes a big person to do what you did this morning.”