A settlement agreement of $20,000 has been reached in a suit filed by a local bonding company against Madison County Sheriff Kip Thomas.
James H. Owens of Double “O” Bonding Co. filed suit in February 2012 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, alleging that Thomas violated his First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights.
Owens received a letter from Thomas on Jan. 26 of last year informing him that he was no longer approved as a bonding agency for the Madison County Jail.
“This letter is to inform you that as of this date Double ‘O’ Bonding is no longer on the bonding list for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office,” Thomas wrote to Owens. “You are on my list of bonding companies and are supporting a candidate running for my office. This behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated by me or any other sheriff for that fact. Good luck with your business.”
A judge ruled last spring that Double “O” Bonding had to be reinstated as a bonding agency for the sheriff’s office.
Owens continued with his suit against the sheriff. And the case came to a close with a settlement agreement this past week.
“….Thomas and Madison County and their liability insurance carrier agree to pay $20,000 to plaintiffs subject to the terms provided herein,” read the settlement agreement, which was obtained through an Open Records Request filed by The Madison County Journal with the county commissioners’ office.
The settlement did not include the cost of Owens’ attorney’s fees.
The agreement also states that there is no admission of liability or fault by Thomas.
“This is a compromise settlement of a disputed claim and the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Thomas, which expressly denies any liability,” the settlement agreement read. “This payment and compromise settlement is made to end the cost, burden and uncertainty of further litigation and to allow the released parties to buy their peace as it relates to Plaintiffs.”
Madison County government attorney Mike Pruett said after the litigation was filed that the county’s insurer covers the cost of the suit, with the county responsible for meeting a $10,000 deductible.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry