Cynthia Finch counter sues Knox Co, sues Ragsdale, Arms

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Embattled former Knox County Community Services Director Cynthia Finch filed a counter lawsuit against Knox County seeking $75,000, and also filed a third-party suit against County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and his Chief of Staff Mike Arms, according to her attorney David Burkhalter in a statement released to media.

Burkhalter says Finch wants the County to drop a lawsuit against her and pay nearly $10,000 in damages. He says she's filed a counter-lawsuit asking for up to an additional $75,000 plus attorney fees. Finch is also suing Ragsdale and Arms individually, asking the court to hold them partially or totally responsible in the event that the she loses the lawsuit against her, but wins her counter-lawsuit against the County.

Burkahalter says he sent a letter to Knox County Law Director John Owings that he described as "an olive branch." Burkhalter says the letter offers Owings a way to get the County out of the lawsuit if:

1. ...The County meaningfully and publicly reviews Finch's April 2 recommendations concerning "matters of public trust, and fraud and abuse."

2. ...Her withheld vacation funds are released to her, and the lawsuit dropped.

3. ...She is freed from any further claims, and be given "any vested benefits that may be due to Cynthia Finch, i.e., retirement funds."

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