BEATRICE – Gage County will pursue having the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals review the findings of a three-judge panel of the court, in the Beatrice Six case.
The supervisors, following an hour-and-a-half closed session today, voted to authorize lawyers for the county to pursue the appeal with the full court. Attorney Patrick O’Brien talked about the request to have all of the judges on the court review this week’s ruling, which affirmed a verdict and over $28 million judgment against Gage County.
:10 “of this magnitude”
O’Brien says if the appeals court would decline the review, the next step would be to determine whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
:19 “once they get it”
Gage County Board Chairman Myron Dorn says the county has a fourteen-day period to file the appeal…with the deadline, June 25th. The county board holds it’s next regular meeting on June 20th. Today’s emergency agenda did not include a public comment period, but Dorn says there will be time allotted for public comment at the meeting next Wednesday.
Some representatives of the local Democratic party appeared at today’s meeting, asking to comment on the board’s decision.
O’Brien says the full appeals court should review the same issues considered by the three-judge panel.
:08 “carefully enough”
O’Brien cited one example of a finding from the three-judge panel, that he feels merits review by the full court…the role of then-Gage County Sheriff Jerry Dewitt, who headed the department during the investigation into the 1985 rape and murder.
:24 “that policy was”
Today’s open session of the board lasted just a few minutes, following the closed- door session. The board’s vote authorizing proceeding with the review by the appeals court, was 7-0.