County agency suing engineer over $1.2 million airport study

MCEDA attorney says Rudy Warnock must refund cost of illegal contract

County agency suing engineer over $1.2 million airport study
Rudy Warnock (Source: Stribling, Wilson)

MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock is facing a lawsuit over a million-dollar airport study conducted by his firm five years ago.

The Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) voted this week to proceed with legal action against Warnock to recoup the cost of the $1.2 million study. Attorney Skipper Jernigan, who is representing MCEDA in the suit, says Warnock & Associates' contract with MCEDA to conduct the study was not legal, because a member of the MCEDA board worked for Warnock’s firm when the contract was approved. That is a violation of the rules set forth in the legislation that established MCEDA.

Jernigan said this does not mean Warnock is not entitled to compensation for work that was performed. He said Warnock could file a counter-claim with justification for the the value of that work.

The legal action seeking return of the funds will be added to an existing complaint that was filed earlier against the MCEDA’s previous attorney. That suit claimed the attorney should not have advised the agency that it was okay to proceed with the contract. The amended complaint will be filed in Madison County Circuit Court within the next ten days, according to Jernigan.

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