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Commission seeks OK to donate money

Clark County might contribute to Davey Moore statue effort.

Clark County commissioners want to contribute $2,000 to help fund a statue in honor of Springfield boxer Davey Moore but are uncertain how to funnel county money toward the project.

County Administrator Nathan Kennedy said state law prevents commissioners from giving the money directly to the Center City Association, which is collecting donations for the statue.

Kennedy also pulled a resolution Tuesday that called for the county to give the money to National Trail Parks and Recreation District because there’s uncertainty as to whether NTPRD can in turn give the county’s money to the Center City Association.

“NTPRD is still trying to find out if they are allowed to do that,” Kennedy said.

Moore fought in the Olympic Games, won the world featherweight title and competed around the globe before dying from a brain injury suffered in a nationally televised featherweight title defense fight against Cuban emigre Ultiminio “Sugar” Ramos at Dodger Stadium in 1963.

Supporters of the Moore statue have been trying for years to raise $90,000 for the statue, but were about $35,000 short when they asked commissioners to contribute to the project.

The statue has already been built in clay by Urbana sculptor Mike Major, but it still needs to be cast into bronze.

In other business, commissioners voted 2-1 to hire Columbus law firm Downes Fishel Hass Kim to provide human resources personnel management legal counsel for Job and Family Services of Clark County at a rate of $185 per hour.

Commissioners John Detrick and Rick Lohnes voted in favor of hiring the law firm. David Hartley was the lone dissenting vote.

Hartley has repeatedly voted against hiring the firm because he said the attorneys cost the county and taxpayers money in the past.

The county paid more than $3,500 in legal costs to the firm in preparation for JFS to lay off 33 people in 2009 and then paid more than $17,000 in legal costs during the arbitration and reinstatement process after it was determined that the layoffs were done inappropriately, county records show.

“They, at least in my mind, gave them some really bad advice,” Hartley said.

JFS Director Bob Suver said he requested commissioners authorize hiring the firm because it has helped in the collective bargaining process with union employees in 2008 and 2010, and will be an asset when talks begin in fall 2013.

“They’ve been with us from the beginning,” Suver said.

Suver said it would cost the county more money if they hired a new law firm unfamiliar with JFS and its union.

“It’s well worth it,” Suver said.

Detrick agreed.

“If we hire new firm they would have to get up to speed on what we do. It would cost us more to change from them to a new firm,” Detrick said.

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