Archived Story

Resolution to SEOEMS dispute could be imminent

Published 12:00am Sunday, September 15, 2013

An end to the more than year-long dispute over the distribution of the assets of the now defunct Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services may be on the horizon.

“I believe we are getting very close to a resolution between the counties,” County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said.

That is the result of a negotiating session between the attorneys for Lawrence, Jackson and Athens counties that was conducted via conference call on Sept. 6.

The mediation session was mandated by the Fourth District Court of Appeals following lawsuits filed by Jackson and Athens against Lawrence and Lawrence against Jackson, Athens and SEOEMS. It was one of a series of sessions in recent months.

The tri-county EMS was disbanded at the end of 2010 when Jackson and Athens county commissioners voted to pull out. That forced Lawrence to create its own EMS.

Since then, the three counties have been in dispute about how SEOEMS’ assets should be distributed.

“I believe a proposed settlement will be submitted to (Lawrence County) Commission within the next 90 days for their approval,” Anderson said.

The commissioners will have to agree to the terms of the settlement before it can go into effect.

“I will be glad to get it resolved and try to recoup some of the money,” Commissioner Freddie Hayes said.

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