Former councilman sues town of Elberta


Former Elberta Councilman John Conti filed a lawsuit against the town of Elberta Jan. 18 following a continued issue involving travel reimbursement for a conference Conti attended in 2015.

According to the lawsuit, Conti is seeking the full $2,761.64 reimbursement as well as $176 in court costs and $587.41 in interest.

“The defendant has wrongfully and in bad faith repeatedly failed to pay the plaintiff upon numerous requests for payment for the plaintiff’s travel expenses on official town business as a representative to the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. in March of 2015,” the lawsuit said. “In August 2017, the State Deputy Attorney General recommended the town pay the travel expenses.”

The reimbursement has continued to be an issue between Conti and the town since 2015, when Conti was still a member of the town council.

Numerous votes were taken to reimburse the money to Conti during his tenure on the council, which ended in Nov. 2016, with all of them tying 3-3 and failing.

Conti again approached the council in Jan. 2017 about the issue, but the council voted to ask for an opinion from Alabama’s Attorney General’s office on the matter.

That opinion came back in Aug. 2017 and stated the town could reimburse the money if it chose to do so, but Mayor Jim Hamby said he did not want to move forward without the council voting on the matter.

The reimbursement was considered for a vote at the Aug. 2017 Elberta Town Council meeting but failed due to the lack of a motion from Town Councilwoman Alma Doege that was allegedly required.

Hamby confirmed the town had received notice of the suit, but said he would not comment on pending litigation.

Conti also had no comment on the matter.