Posted by Amy Mischler

During this past week it has been published in the Russell Register that the City of Russell Springs decided “not to renew” local Attorney Don Byrom’s contract as the city attorney. As in all of Mayor DeHart’s statements, he was not completely candid with the public. DeHart stated that an untenable situation arose in a recent court ruling.

First, the ruling was not recent. It was issued in July 2009. Second, the DeHart left out a critical part of what the “ruling” was. He also made a scathing report to the City Commission and the public regarding what he called “frivolous” and “Scandalous” allegations against Russell Springs Chief of Police Joe Michael Irvin.

Police Chief Irvin filed a lawsuit against Leon Grider and James Faller. Both filed counter suits, all of which is set to go to trial early this summer in 2010.

What DeHart failed to mention is that the City of Russell Springs intentionally hired Don Byrom as their city attorney, because he previously represented Faller. Such representation for the City would give the City and Irvin and advantage on Faller and is a clear violation of the attorney client privilege between Faller and Byrom.

In 2005, Faller noticed Byrom of his concerns that Byrom had a conflict of interest representing the City, and would violation the attorney client privilege between Faller and Byrom. Attorney Don Byrom wrote back stating that he would not be involved in Russell Springs cases concerning Faller. Without notifying Faller, sometime after that 2005 letter, Attorney Don Byrom “changed his mind” as he states in the accompanying video.

In 2009, an issue arose where Faller filed to depose Mayor DeHart in the numerous lawsuits that have been filed. Byrom appeared to represent DeHart, despite his 2005 letter promising Faller that he, Byrom would not get involved in city matters involving Faller.

Faller petitioned special Judge Gary Payne to prohibit Byrom from violating the Kentucky Supreme Court Rules which prohibit conflict of interest representations. As our viewers learned from the video; Byrom “changed his mind” and decided violate the conflict of interest rule.

Byrom gave varying versions of what he promised Faller, until Faller actually produced the letter and federal court transcripts. Special Judge Gary Payne granted Fallers request and entered an order against Byrom requiring him to withdraw from representing the city and Police Chief Joe Michael Irvin in lawsuits involving Faller and Grider.

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