Abell Reacts To Selby’s Veto


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby’s veto of a resolution paying attorneys fees did not get much reaction at the work session late last week, but it’s likely to dominate Thursday night’s regular meeting.

Assemblyman Tom Abell was disappointed in the veto, after it seemed the issue had finally been put to rest:

(Veto Reax 1 33 sec “… bring an ugliness to a conclusion.”)

Selby listed a half-dozen reasons why he vetoed the measure, which passed on a 5-to-2 vote. Among them was the way the resolution got on the agenda; that the fees should be cleared by the courts; and what he sees as a conflict of interest on the part of three assembly members.

Selby also said that he’s not convinced the borough should pay the legal bills for assembly members Louise Stutes, Reed Oswalt and Abell, who got their own attorney in the lawsuit over attendance. Selby said it is his opinion that the three effectively sued the borough themselves. Abell disagrees:

(Veto Reax 2 17 sec “… and move forward with this.”)

Abell is the assembly’s deputy presiding officer, and put the resolution to pay everyone’s legal fees on the agenda. He said how he did it was above-board and legitimate, even though it wasn’t addressed at the regular agenda-setting meeting held the week before the May 1st meeting.

Abell also takes issue with Selby’s assertion that he, Stutes and Oswalt had a conflict of interest in voting on the payment resolution, because it applied to legal fees for all assembly members and the mayor:

(Veto Reax 3 21 sec “…is being done by two different attorney firms.”)

Abell says he hopes the votes are there on Thursday to override Selby’s veto:

(Veto Reax 4 28 sec “… on with what we do on the borough assembly.”)

There is the possibility that Selby may rule Abell, Stutes and Oswalt ineligible to vote on the override because of what he perceives as a conflict of interest. If he does, that would leave only four assembly members to vote, only two of whom, Pat Branson and Jerrol Friend, originally voted for the payment resolution. Sue Jeffrey and Chris Lynch voted no. The meeting starts at 7:30 Thursday night and can be heard live here on KMXT.


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