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LTC discusses need for an attorney

By John Estridge, Editor

For the past several months, Laurel Town Council members have labored without an attorney.

They are trying to understand the intricacies of governing a small town. Thus, an Indiana official is coming to Laurel to instruct them on the legalities of a town council.

Members will hold a training session either on Monday, Aug. 21, or the following Monday, Aug. 28.

Also, members will try to get in touch with an attorney and schedule an executive session with the attorney to discuss personnel. That will take place at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5, before the public meeting at 6:30 p.m.

One of those personnel discussions may center around one of the Laurel Police Department officers, Clint Ellis.

A few residents, who were at the Tuesday, Aug. 1 meeting, were complaining about Ellis. One woman said she was at the Laurel Town Clerk's office recently, and Ellis came into the office loudly haranguing her.

She and others had copies of articles they had retrieved off the Internet, they said were about Ellis' past.

An article in the Dec. 16, 2012 Rushville Republican concerned how Ellis had been dismissed from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in November 2011. When he was dismissed, he had been at the academy for one week. At the time of his dismissal, Ellis was the interim Marshal for the Rush County town of Carthage.

He was dismissed because he was found on the ILEA computer without authorization.

Ellis was subsequently terminated from his position in Carthage because according to state law, he had to pass the ILEA in order to remain the marshal.

Also, the article stated Ellis was arrested earlier in 2012 through a felony warrant from Kentucky through the non-payment of child support.

Laurel Town Marshal Brad Spurlock calmly talked on each point the women had made.

Spurlock and LTC President Mallory Boone said Ellis had settled the problems in Kentucky by using a Diversion Program.

According to Spurlock, he was once unfairly fired from his Marshal’s position through rumors such as are surfacing now concerning Ellis.

Spurlock said Ellis does not have to go to the academy to be a deputy marshall.

He trusts Ellis in his position as a deputy marshal, and Ellis has done a good job taking drugs off the street.

Spurlock said Ellis volunteered to put the new LED lights up in the Community Center. In fact, Spurlock said, Ellis has spent at least 60 hours of volunteer time working on the Community Center.

Also, Spurlock said Ellis is able to train the other deputy marshals on the Laurel police force in several areas as Ellis is a certified trainer in several police-related areas.

Council member Tim Harris said one cannot believe everything that is printed in papers.

In other business, LTC members:

*Heard from council member Gus Adams on the community center.

He said he would like to form a committee of town residents for the community center, which would aid in the ongoing work to improve the community center.

LED lights were put in place and the gymnasium’s floor was refinished. New paint was put throughout the building and graduating Laurel High School class photos were put back on the hallway walls.

The committee will not be authorized to spend any money and it will report to council, Adams said.

*Heard from a young couple who said vehicles speed around their community like the street is Interstate 275 around Cincinnati.

They said when police are present, the vehicles slow down but once the police are gone, the vehicles speed up again.

Spurlock told the couple when a town puts in speed bumps, the process is governed by Indiana Code, it must be made to specifications, and it has to have the correct signage to correlate to the speed bump.

Again, council said it would be good to have an attorney to guide them.

Other people in the audience said they would like to have speed bumps on their streets also because they, too, have children and they fear for their safety with the way vehicles speed on their streets.

*Heard the Laurel Volunteer Fire Depart-ment wants the lot outside of the firehouse entrance paved.

Spurlock cautioned against it because many of the town’s streets are in bad condition and the residents may be upset if a parking area is paved and the streets are left neglected.