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Kenney files countersuit against fellow county commissioners


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
June 26, 2014
OSSIPEE — On Monday, June 23, Carroll County Commissioner Asha Kenney filed a suit in Superior Court "to present evidence of malfeasance of office and a countersuit for removal of Commissioners Sorenson [sic] and Babson."

The countersuit is in response to a suit filed on June 4 by Commissioners David Sorensen and David Babson asking for her removal. In the court complaint, they complain that Kenney has engaged in "repeated conduct unbecoming of an elected public official, unethical, unprofessional and unrepresentative of the will of the board of county commissioners." In the second complaint they allege she has made "increasing insults, threats, ridicule to employees, vendors, and contactors."

They accuse Kenney of malfeasance in that it is "willful and intentional action that injures a party" and accuse her of continuously and selectively releasing information from non-public sessions.

When the two commissioners voted to file the suit on June 4, Kenney threatened to file a suit of her own against them, and the June 23 Kenney suit appears to be the one promised.

In it she asserts the following charges against her follow commissioners (the text is transcribed verbatim):

"1. Commissioner Babson and Sorenson released Non-Public info and exempt information to reporters and employees.

"2. Commissioner Sorenson and Babson have acted outside of posted meetings on more than one occasion.

"3. Commissioner Sorenson without authority raised the salary after the hiring vote by commissioners for a salary of $53,000.

"4. Commissioner Babson and Sorenson have hidden misuse of county monies.

"a. Insurance fraud

"b. Trust fund irregularities

"c. Gave away settlement without a vote of the board

"d. Gave away contract without a vote of the board

"e. violation of county policy

"f. threating an employee

"g. special treatment of employees with county monies

"h. mistreatment of certain employees

"i. misuse of county funds

"5. Sorenson did travel to Washington on Farm Bureau business (not county business but part of his position in extension) and without vote expending money charged to the county.

"6. They have Ordered staff to not give settlements and other paperwork she has an elected responsibility to act on.

"7. Violation of R.S.A. 28:8 did not have competitive bidding on contracts exceeding $5,000.

"8. Violated the elected County Clerk's duties by not allowing her to keep records and claims per R.S.A. 28:2."

As a remedy for these claims in her suit, Kenney asks the court to 1) "Grant removal of Sorenson and Babson for obstruction of another Commissioner's duties," 2) "Order the County pay all expenses of Commissioner Asha Kenney for frivolous and vicacious actions and suit by County Commissioners Sorenson and Babson," "And such other relief as may be just and fair."

The document seen by this reporter includes a certification that a copy of the suit was mailed to Babson and Sorensen at the county administrative office address. Babson and Sorensen were not available for comment by press time.

At the June 18 commissioners meeting Babson and Sorensen were asked by Ed Comeau of GovernmentOversite.com if they will continue their suit to remove Kenney in light of her decision not to run for re-election. Sorensen and Babson answered, "we haven't decided yet."

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