Several Jefferson County commissioners say they still don’t know why commission president David Carrington decided to place county attorney Jeff Sewell on paid administrative leave. Carrington announced on Monday that he was placing Sewell on leave “pending a complete review of multiple issues on multiple fronts.” But al.com/Birmingham News quotes several commissioners who say they are shocked by the move and still don’t know what precipitated it. In a written statement released late Monday Sewell said
It is a lawyer’s duty to advise a client to obey the law. I have done that. Mr. Carrington’s attempt to silence that message signals a step backwards for Jefferson County.
On Friday, al.com/Birmingham News reported that Sewell sent commissioners a memo warning them about compliance with the county manager law.
Last fall, Sewell threatened to quit if the county did not raise his $375,000 salary. The commission gave in and offered him a $18,750 raise. An investigation by WBHM in 2010 revealed that Sewell is one of the highest paid county attorneys in the country.