By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on July 24, 2021
The lawsuit pitting the Corolla Civic Association (CCA) against Currituck County continues to move through the courts, although the significance of the latest action is unclear. First filed in 2019, the lawsuit challenges how the county spent approximately $40 million in Occupancy Tax (OT) revenues.
On Monday, July 19, Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons granted a motion from Currituck County to drop former County Manager Dan Scanlon and the Board of Commissioners from the suit. The judge also dismissed the CCA constitutional claim under North Carolina law that the county improperly allocated the OT funds under the terms of the 2004 law allowing it to assess the tax.
Although Scanlon and the Commissioners have been dropped from the suit, the CCA contention that the county misallocated funds remains at the heart of the suit. Nor does dismissing the state constitutional claim affect the CCA contention that the county misused the funds.
A Currituck County press release called the judge’s actions “favorable rulings.”
But CCA Attorney Casey Varnell disagreed, writing in an email response to the Voice, “None of the motions negatively affect our case moving forward.” In particular, he felt the dismissal of the constitutional claim helped his client’s case, creating more avenues for compensation if the county is found at fault.
“A claim under the North Carolina Constitution can only exist if the Plaintiffs have no other adequate remedy at law under which they can seek redress,” he wrote.
The Plaintiffs were very pleased to have this occur.”
The case will continue with Currituck County and the Tourism Development Authority as defendants.
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