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York County Attorney files motion for restraining order against York County Commissioners
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York County Attorney files motion for restraining order against York County Commissioners

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County Commissioners Board Room / Courthouse stock

YORK – On Monday, Sept. 20, York County Attorney John Lyons filed a motion for temporary injunction/temporary restraining order, with the York County District Court, against the York County Board of Commissioners, as well as each of the commissioners as an individual.

The motion asks “to temporarily restrain defendants from undertaking any further action to remove plaintiff from office of county attorney by board vote alone.”

Lyons asked for a hearing to be held late Monday afternoon – 16 hours before the county board members had planned to take a vote on whether or not they would terminate Lyons from his position as county attorney.

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In his motion, Lyons says “the plaintiff is likely to succeed on his claims that, as a county officer, he may not be removed from office by non-judicial means and/or that such removal violates his due process rights under the United States and Nebraska Constitutions. He faces irreparable harm in the absence of emergency preliminary relief. All equities and interests tilt overwhelmingly in favor of the issuance of preliminary relief and against allowing the board to illegally terminate an incumbent county officer by improper means.”

The matter was to be heard by District 5 Judge Rachel Daugherty.

Court documents do not reflect the outcome of the hearing.

The York County Commissioners are scheduled to hold their regular meeting Tuesday morning, at 8:30 a.m., during which the termination issue is included as an agenda item.

The York County Commissioners have said, in a formal statement, they are considering terminating Lyons from his position because he defied their unanimous vote in stating he could not sign a contract with Clay County to serve as that county’s interim county attorney. All board members voted against the request for him to do so and he signed the contract with Clay County the next day. Lyons has argued he had the right to do so and did not need their permission. The commissioners have said his responsibility, as hired when he was appointed, is to dedicate his time to the full caseload and county counsel here. Lyons continues to argue they cannot remove him from office, even if he was appointed, because he is still considered an elected official.

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