Todd Co. Magistrate, Judge spar over illegal dump cleanup question

Judge Daryl Greenfield/file photo

A discussion became heated at times between Todd County Judge-Executive Daryl Greenfield and Magistrate Brent Spurlin Friday morning as they weighed a request from a citizen for assistance in applying for a state grant to pay costs of cleaning up an illegal dump site.

Chris Mallory spoke during public comments at a meeting earlier this month and asked Judge Greenfield to sign off on an application to the state requesting grant funds to reimburse him for costs of cleanup at a dump site in a creek bed on his property near Stratton Road. The creek was full of greenhouse trays and other trash and Judge Greenfield accused Mallory of dumping the trays on his own land. Mallory was cited by the state and has cleaned up the mess.

Mallory left that meeting believing he would not receive the county’s blessing to apply for the state money, but Magistrate Brent Spurlin said Friday that he’s given the matter thought and came to the realization that the county has helped every other citizen who’s requested the state grant in the past. Judge Greenfield pushed back and reiterated his belief that Mallory’s mess was of his own making.

Spurlin says the county has no assurances that any illegal dump it’s worked with a citizen on in the past wasn’t created by the property owner applying for a grant.

When Greenfield accused Spurlin and others of “games” and “politics,” Spurlin accused Greenfield of holding road project funds over a magistrate’s head to sway his vote against Mallory’s request in a meeting at the magistrate’s home.

Ultimately, the resolution to assist Mallory in applying for the grant failed on a 3-to-3 tie, with Judge Greenfield, Squire Billy Bryant and Squire Jimmy Turner voting against it. Greenfield also accused Treasurer Tammy Robertson of helping the controversy continue due to her friendship with an involved party—an accusation Robertson vehemently denied. She wanted to continue the discussion, but it ended when Turner made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

In other action, Magistrates approved first reading of a revised bonding ordinance relating to land acquisition and incentives for the Novelis industrial project. The county is in a partnership with the City of Guthrie on the matter and second reading will likely come at a special meeting.

Representatives of Historic Todd County, Inc. spoke and say they intend to apply for a federal block grant with the county’s blessing for additional renovations to the upstairs of the Historic Todd County Courthouse and for installation of an elevator.