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Harper files suit against Supervisors in federal court



ken harper
(photo courtesy Warren County)

Former Warren County Prosecutor Ken Harper has filed a suit against the Warren County Board of Supervisors in the U.S. District Court in Jackson.

Harper is represented by Jackson attorney Sam Begley. Harper’s complaint alleges that his 14th amendment rights to due process have been violated. ” The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual’s interests in life, liberty, and ‘property.’ An elected county official who is entitled to hold an office under state law has a property interest in his office which can be taken from him only by procedures meeting the requirements of due process,” Harper’s lawyer cited in a memorandum.

Harper is seeking reinstatement to his position along with back payments of salary, benefits, insurance and office expenses.

The Board authorized their attorney, Blake Teller, to begin preparations for a defense Monday morning. The suit was filed Friday and Teller informed the board Monday morning of the impending litigation.

Harper’s compensation for the role was the initial topic of contention, as stated in this letter Harper wrote to the board last June.  Harper says that the salary he was paid was equal to that of his part-time predecessor, and not the salary discussed with Supervisors for the full-time position that he was working.

Harper resigned in September 2020,  only to rescind the resignation three days later. The Board voted to withhold payments to Harper pending an Attorney General’s Opinion being rendered on the matter. The opinion stated Harper’s resignation became effective on the date and time that it was submitted.

Subsequently, a youth court prosecutor, L by the Youth Court Judge (Marcie Southerland) and an interim county prosecutor have been appointed by Supervisors.

Read the full complaint here.

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