Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DOA backs Thompson's reimbursement claim

The Department of Administration has recommended the state Claims Board approve Georgia Thompson's claim for $359,047.62 in legal fees other expenses related to her aborted criminal case.

"Ms. Thompson has been, and remains, a hard-working, dedicated, and respected employee of the Department of Administration," DOA legal counsel Mark Saunders wrote in a memo to the board dated Nov. 2. "She has suffered many tribulations through the criminal investigation and subsequent trial, conviction, and federal imprisonment, for a crime that she did not commit."

The state Claims Board has a hearing scheduled Thursday on Thompson's claim.

Saunders notes in the memo that there is no state statute allowing reimbursement for legal defense costs for employees acquitted of criminal charges. State statutes only specifically mention legal costs for those state employees sued for acting in their official capacity.

Still, DOA agrees with Thompson's assertion that the statutes and a prior court ruling don't preclude her reimbursement, Saunders wrote. Her legal defense accounts for $220,592.62 of her claim.

See the DOA letter here.

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