County strikes deal over judges’ travel spending

Fulton County and its judges have cut a deal on the judges’ travel reimbursements to end a dispute that threatened to end with two county officials in jail.

County Commission Chairman John Eaves, Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan and other officials hashed out an agreement in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. Under the agreement, Fulton’s 30 elected Superior and State Court judges will follow the same rules as other county employees when it comes to getting paid to travel on public business, at least through the end of this year.

In the meantime, county officials agreed to review the reimbursement process to make it easier for the judges and other employees while still holding them accountable, Eaves said after the meeting.

The judges have said they don’t have to abide by the county’s policies for getting reimbursed. County officials have said they do. Tusan had threatened to jail County Manager Dwight Ferrell and Finance Director Patrick O’Connor as the dispute escalated.

After Tuesday’s meeting the county issued a statement saying the matter had been “resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.”

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