Latta Town Attorney Janet Paschal Resigns

On Friday, July 15, the day after the Latta Town Council meeting in which the council voted to proceed with a special election open to everyone against the town attorney’s advice, Town Attorney Janet Altman Paschal resigned from the position. The Herald is told by Paschal that she had to have a police escort to her vehicle after Thursday night’s meeting.
Her letter to Mayor Nancy Brigman follows:
July 15, 2022
Dear Mayor Brigman:
Please accept this as my resignation as the Town of Latta attorney. It is with sadness and a heavy heart that I tender this resignation.
As you know, I moved to Latta in 1993, when I graduated from law school. I lived in Latta, or the surrounding area, for a period of 25 years. My children attended and graduated from the Latta schools. They were christened in Latta churches. Through the years, I developed friendships and a great respect for many of the citizens of Latta such as you and Mr. Lane, the chairperson of the Town’s Municipal Election Commission. I watched and learned as citizens such as you and he worked to make the Town a friendly, inviting place to live. I saw the work done by the Latta Revitalization Committee to improve our Town. I saw Mr. Lane serve in Latta Rotary where in 2010 I served as President. I aspired to be a person like you, and many others who contributed to making the Town of Latta better than the wonderful, small town that it already was at the time I arrived.
I began serving as Town attorney in 2015. I feel I worked well with the prior administration. We did not always agree, but I was always treated with dignity and respect. Likewise, I treated them with dignity and respect. I have been told I agreed to work for the same fee Mr. Greene, our long time Town attorney charged, of $500 a month retainer. This guaranteed the Town I would always be available to them and covered three to five ours of work a month, depending if there were any carryover hours from the month before. Mr. Greene, and his wife Belva, were also some of the great citizens I admired and respected for their work in and for the Town. I have served the Town to the best of my ability since that time, I have been involved in several lawsuits filed against the Town. I have reviewed and written contracts on behalf of the Town. I have worked to get the emergency tank repairs done a few years ago. We just completed a large sewer/water upgrade involving years of work. I have sought to serve the Town, often not even billing the Town for time I spent working on their behalf. I feel that it is now time for me to step down.
The current political climate in Latta has taken a great personal toll on me. I worked on the Town election protest matter on December 13th and 14th, from my 20-year-old daughter’s hospital room where she was fighting not to become septic after having had emergency surgery on December 13th. My commitment to the Town never wavered. The decision of the Town Council on Thursday, July 14th to not follow the SC Supreme Court case law stating the election cannot be a “de novo election” after the protest is concluded, leads me to believe the Town of Latta will be in ongoing litigation for the foreseeable future. I am, therefore, unable to continue to serve the Town as their attorney and fulfill my other professional responsibilities and commitments to my family. It is regrettable that someone who has been found to never have even resided in the Town can cause such an upheaval in the Town.
The council will still need to cooperate with me to assure a substitution of counsel is filed in the pending lawsuit filed by Mr. Drawhorne. Please advise me just as soon as new counsel is retained. Until that time, I will remain as counsel of record for the Town in that pending lawsuit as the Town is unable to represent itself in Court as a corporate municipality. I will also fulfill my contractual obligation with the Town as to the remaining grant/loan project for our water/sewer system as I am contractually bound to do so. I am requesting I be allowed to deal with the Mayor versus the Town Administrator on these issues as I complete my obligations to the Town.
Hopefully, Mr. Drawhorn will now stop his slander and libel of me on Facebook. I wish all the rest of the citizens of Latta peace, resolution and a successful future.
With kindest regards, I am
Very truly yours,
Janet Altman Paschal

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