Judge dismisses suit against Chatham County over Confederate statue, which will not go back up

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PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The fight over the Chatham County Confederate monument has ended after a judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy against Chatham County Commissioners to stop them from taking down the statue.

Nick Ellis, the attorney for Chatham County, argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because he said the statue belonged to the United Daughters of the Confederacy to begin with and not the county.

He also argued that the Confederacy group did have a “standing” in this case.

“There are very limited numbers of time when someone is a taxpayer and can bring an action against their local government,” Ellis said.

However, attorneys for the United Daughters of the Confederacy argued that the group does have a standing in this case — they protect and honor Confederate servicemen.

Their attorneys also said they were bullied “into a corner” by their local government to file the lawsuit.

 In the end, the judge sided with the Chatham County Commissioners and decided to dismiss the lawsuit.

County Commissioner Karen Howard said the future of the statue is still unknown, however, she said it will not be going back up in front of the courthouse.

“I’m still hopeful there will be some conversation with Ms. Pugh and the United Daughters of the Confederacy about what they would like to have done with it,” Howard said. “I do think storing it indefinitely is not an option.”

Until the United Daughters of the Confederacy decide what to do with the monument, the county will pay $300 a month to store it in a storage facility in Greensboro.  

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