Legality of health department furniture buy questioned

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Todd, others question whether director violated statute by not bidding out $63K in furniture

By Ben Carlson

Members of the Anderson County Board of Health are calling into question the legality of health director Brandon Hurley’s decision to purchase $63,000 in new furniture without seeking bids.
Board member Harold Todd questioned Hurley about the decision during last Wednesday’s board of health meeting, saying it was apparent to him that Hurley should have bid on the furniture.
Todd read that state statute that outlines when and if bids should be sought for purchases, saying that it is required for items purchased in excess of $20,000.
“It looks like the regulation was circumvented,” Todd said. “We need complete transparency here.”
Hurley responded, saying the statute also says he can seek advice from the state’s department of public health, which he did.
“I sought that guidance,” he said. “Each item didn’t reach the threshold of $20,000. I met with three companies and picked the one with the lowest pricing.”
Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway said if all of the furniture is being purchased from one company, there’s no question in his mind that Hurley should have requested bids.
Hurley said the furniture had not yet been purchased, but that he had already agreed to buy it.
On Monday, Conway said the board later requested a legal opinion on the matter from County Attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis.
Lewis said Monday that she is looking into the matter.