“Although a majority of the municipalities have paid their shares, Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock announced last year that she would not use money collected from any of the county’s 38 cities and towns to fund the post until a judge weighs in on the suit.”
Palm Beach County will ask judge to block inspector general from intervening in suit
Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Nieman said Thursday that her office will ask a judge to block Inspector General Sheryl Steckler from intervening in a lawsuit involving the watchdog post.
Steckler filed a motion this month asking that a judge allow her to intervene in the lawsuit filed by 14 cities and towns over payments to her office. The cities sued the county in November, challenging a requirement that each locality contribute to Steckler’s $3.3 million budget
Steckler said that the legal challenge threatens to block her from doing her job and recruiting staffers. In the court filing, Steckler argued that her office is independent of other government offices and has full and unrestricted access to all county and municipal records.
But in an email to county commissioners on Thursday, Nieman said that Steckler’s push to intervene in the case could have “far-reaching negative consequences” beyond the battle of who pays for the post. If Steckler is allowed to intervene, Nieman said, other county departments could also try to file their own legal challenges in other cases.