Judge grants injunction|No action on BRHS for at least 10 days

Published 6:13 pm Monday, January 10, 2011

Daily News Staff

A judge has issued an injunction barring the Beaufort County commissioners from “voting on the transfer of Beaufort Regional Health System or Beaufort (County) Medical Center and its facilities for 10 days or until further proceedings can be heard in this matter.”
The judicial petition seeking a temporary injunction was granted by Superior Court Judge Walter H. Godwin Jr., a judge in Judicial District 7C, which covers Wilson and Edgecombe counties.
“(B)ased on the showing of plaintiffs the Court makes the following findings … That irreparable harm will occur to the plaintiffs and the citizens of Beaufort County if the scheduled vote by the County Commissioners happens before further proceedings … That the public interest is significant in this case and further proceedings must be had in order to insure the public interest is properly served,” Godwin’s order reads.
A document accompanying the injunction lists as plaintiffs James Russell Boyd and Phyllis Boyd, according to court documents.
The attorneys for the defendants are listed in the injunction as Mark Stewart and Timothy Burch of Greenville.
The defendants are listed as the county commissioners and the BRHS Board of Commissioners.
William Mayo, lawyer for Beaufort County, said the effect of the injunction is to stop action related to the lease offer now before the commissioners.
It “pretty well muzzles” everyone, Mayo said.
At the end of the 10 days, a hearing can be held before the judge seeking a permanent injunction in the case.
Ed Booth, one of the seven county commissioners, said he was not aware of the legal development.
“Well, I’m going to obey the judge,” Booth said. “And I’m sort of surprised that it went this far. I’m really totally surprised that it went this far. But if he feels we need to stop we’re going to stop, obey his orders.”
Booth said he knows the Boyds and grew up in their community.
“They’re fine people,” he said. “They’re farmers. … I hadn’t talked to them.”
The Boyds couldn’t be reached for comment immediately Monday afternoon.
Al Klemm, another county commissioner, also said he wasn’t aware of the injunction.
“To be perfectly honest I’ve got to think about it,” Klemm commented. “Anything that’s done at this point’s going to impact the process. … I don’t know whether it’s a positive or a negative.”
Commissioner Jay McRoy also was unaware of the judge’s order until someone left him a telephone message about it Monday.
“I really don’t know enough at this time to even comment because I don’t know what it’s saying,” McRoy stated.