It has not been a banner couple of weeks for Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager. Monday, WYSH revealed the existence of emails between Yeager and then-Human Resources Director Russell Bearden that contradict Yeager’s public statements and two sworn statements from Bearden that the Law Director did not know of allegations of sexual harassment against Circuit Court Clerk William Jones leveled in 2015 until last fall. You can read more about that story on our website, wyshradio.com.
Last month, a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit filed against Yeager by County Public Works Director and Building Commissioner David Crowley for malicious prosecution can proceed, rejecting Yeager’s bid to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Crowley was appointed to his position shortly after the election of County Mayor Terry Frank in November of 2012. Crowley did not have the certifications necessary to conduct building inspections, but as the judge’s ruling indicates, that was not necessarily his job. Building inspector Lisa Crumpley was inspecting buildings but as it turns out, also did not have the necessary certifications, unbeknownst to Crowley and Frank. Crowley, under state law, had one year from the time of his first inspection in February of 2013 to obtain his certifications, but in January of 2014, Yeager told the County Commission that Crowley had been carrying out inspections without the proper certifications, which Yeager said was a misdemeanor.
The judge’s ruling in favor of Crowley states that rather than waiting for Commission to act, Yeager went to his “close personal friend,” District Attorney General Dave Clark and claimed that Crowley’s actions “posed an immediate danger to life, safety and the welfare of others.”
The judge opined that Yeager omitted “facts material to the prosecution” when speaking to Clark, who eventually sought and obtained an indictment against Crowley on five misdemeanor charges. The judge also cited what he called the “ongoing political battle” with Mayor Frank, before ruling that Yeager “may have acted intentionally or recklessly in making false statements or omissions that were material to the prosecution.”
In spring of 2016, an Anderson County jury acquitted Crowley on all of those charges.