Money Battle Brewing Between two Southern Illinois Counties
There is a money battle brewing between two heartland counties, leaders in Pulaski filed a lawsuit against Alexander County in July. In it leaders ask Alexander County to pay up nearly two hundred thousand dollars in back pay for use of the Tri-County Jail.
"I'm not going to say it's unprecedented in the state of Illinois, but it is rather unusual." said Pulaski County State's Attorney Grayson Gile tells me it's even more unusual to foot another county's bill.
Alexander, Union and Pulaski counties all agreed to build the Tri-County Justice and Detention Center in 2004, but the last check Alexander paid out for staff and other charges is dated May 2005.
"We feel like we cant continue to provide the services without the funds being reimbursed for the services," said Jerry Thurston.
Leaders in Alexander County refused an on camera interview, but did speak by phone. The Alexander State Attorney Jeff Farris filed the county's response to the lawsuit and hopes to remedy the situation soon.
In response to the whereabouts of detention center funds Farris replied, "Alexander is a poor county."
"We want to be a good neighbor for Alexander county, but we would hope Alexander county would reciprocate the kindness and be a good neighbor to pulaski county and pay their bill is the right step to ensuring cooperation between the two counties," said Gile.
But, if Pulaski County doesn't see some green soon, the cooperation that created the tri-county jail could end, and the doors to the jail may be locked to keep Alexander County inmates out.