GREENE COUNTY OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH CLEANING COURTHOUSE, REMOVING BAT INFESTATION

Courthouse

<p>Greene County officials reportedly have only 30 days to clean up the county courthouse or it will be shut down.</p><div></div><p>Greene County Sheriff’s Office officials, who work in the courthouse, said that the State Fire Marshal’s Office notified the Greene County Commission that they’ll close the courthouse down if several reported issues, including a bat infestation, are not taken care of.</p>

“Smelling them is the worst,” Green County Sheriff’s Office employee Cynthia McKinnon said. “Seeing them is very scary. There was one in the sink per day, one accidentally flushed down the toilet, and they are in the ceilings here.”

Employees at the courthouse said the odor of bat excrement and decay has been unbearable. Birmingham attorney David M. Cowan said he is representing around 30 Greene County Courthouse personnel who have experienced physical ailments resulting from the bat infestation and other unworkable conditions like mold and heating and cooling issues.

 “We have actually gone to the doctors,” McKinnon said. “We have one employee who had to have an inhaler. She had breathing problems and upper respiratory infections.”

McKinnon isn’t alone in asking the Greene County Commission to take care of these reported issues.

“The only thing that we want is for them to respect our lives,” McKinnon said.  “Once we leave here, we go home to our families. We are wives, we are husbands, we are somebody’s aunties, somebody’s mother, their fathers. Respect the fact that whatever we inhale here, there’s a possibility that we take it home. I would like to see them get this together.”

<p>Cowan, the attorney representing the dozens of courthouse employees, said he has not personally seen a report from the Alabama Department of Public Health or the State Fire Marshal’s Office, but he’s asked the county commission for permission to launch a private inspection and is waiting to hear back. The Greene County Commission declined to make a comment on the reported issues.</p>

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