No legal opinion after all?
Questions today on whether a legal opinion will ever be issued as a way to to decide who’s right in a dispute between the Oconee School District and the County Treasurer. Treasurer Greg Nowell told 96.3/WGOG NEWS this week that he was left with the impression recently that the Attorney General’s Office that the state agency won’t get involved afterall, saying the issue is “too complicated.” Nowell asked for the opinion last fall. He had wanted the state’s chief legal beagles to weigh in on whether he acted properly in denying the district a percentage of fees and penalties collected from late or delinquent tax payments. School officials contend that they had previously received their share of the fees and penalties and by not getting it anymore has cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead the money is believed to have gone straight into the county’s general treasury. This morning Dr. Michael Thorsland, interim Oconee Superintendent of Education, said the district had also heard what Nowell said he heard. The district may not let the matter rest. According to Thorsland, the district has had its attorney also request an opinion and is looking at other options, including an appeal to the Oconee County Council. Within the last hour, however, Mark Powell, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said in an email to 96.3/WGOG NEWS: “Our office is still working on the Oconee County opinion requested by Treasurer Nowell. Not sure when it will be finished, but all Attorney General’s opinions are posted on our website at www.scag.gov when they are released. And yesterday morning Nowell said he received a call from another Attorney General Office representative that affirmed Powell’s email to 96.3/WGOG NEWS.