HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A trial is underway in a controversial case out of Clinton County.
A Hamilton County judge heard the issue between Clinton County commissioners Monday.
County Commissioner George "Skip" Evans and his attorney presented evidence in the case regarding a road re-paving project in Clinton County.
As News 18 reported in August, the project would pave County Road 450 West at a cost of about $80,000.
County commissioners approved the project in August with a 2-1 one vote in favor of the project.
Evans voted against the proposal after he and several residents believed County Commissioner Mike Beard wanted to have the road paved because his home and several hog farms are located on that road.
Beard said he wants it done because of a nearby nature preserve.
Residents won an injunction against the project in September.
Monday morning Judge Paul Felix heard from Evans and his attorney who said Beard's vote in favor of paving 450 West is a "conflict of interest."
Testimony in the trial lasted about 5 hours.
Several witness took the stand including Clinton County Highway Superintendent Kevin Myers.
Both attorneys have until Friday to submit written closing arguments to Judge Felix.
"Mr. Michael Beard did not have a conflict of interests," Beard's attorney Ted Johnson said. "The conflict of interests statute in Indiana is very narrow and we believe that the judge will, if the judge agrees with us, the next step would be the court would dissolve the preliminary injunction."
"Mr. Evans ought to be commended because of what he did," Evans' attorney David Little said. "He saw the problem, he saw the outrage and the concern of the people and he took it and had the courage to litigate this. He brought it to the forefront and whatever the result is I think you have to commend Mr. Evans for trying to do what he thinks was the proper thing."
Judge Felix is expected to make a decision early next week.
If he decides there is not a conflict of interest with Beard and his vote to repave 450 West, the injunction could be removed and the project could get the green light.
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