Legislature files suit against Jackson County Executive Frank Wh - KCTV5 News

Legislature files suit against Jackson County Executive Frank White

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(File photo) (File photo)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Jackson County Legislature is suing County Executive Frank White. 

At stake is who has control over millions of dollars raised through the COMBAT anti-drug tax. 

The legislature voted on Tuesday to ask a judge to settle the dispute. 

It had previously passed an ordinance giving control of COMBAT's budget to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. 

White, who said last week the move would cost taxpayers' money, has resisted the move. 

Scott Burnett, Chair of the Legislature, issued the following statement: 

“It is unfortunate the Legislature is having to take legal action to enforce an ordinance passed by this body since the County Executive continues to ignore the current rule of law.  It is our moral obligation to ensure accountability for the taxpayer dollars and given concerns about the administration’s questionable use of these funds, a decision was made to return the administration of COMBAT to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  We have complete confidence in Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to faithfully execute the duties asked of her office by this body.”

White issued a statement later on Tuesday: 

“I was elected to this office to do what is right. And as County Executive, that has and always will be the basis for any decision I make. I am committed to working with everyone to move Jackson County forward, however, I am not willing to violate the charter or law to do so. Any action taken by me and my administration has been in accordance with the legal advice of the County Counselor’s Office and the legal opinion the County received from outside counsel.

Despite numerous warnings, the Legislature has continued to ignore the significant legal issues surrounding the oversight of COMBAT, which has led to uncertainty and confusion among staff and the community. Therefore, it is important we have a resolution to this issue as quickly as possible, but it must be done appropriately.  I am dedicated to working with everyone in the meantime to ensure that COMBAT continues to be a cause for good in our community.”

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