Walker County, Ga., is asking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Erlanger Health System that asks a federal judge to order the levying of taxes to pay an $8.7 million debt.
Walker County noted that new Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has imposed a special tax levy on its citizens designed to satisfy the debt.
It also says that Commissioner Whitfield held several meetings with Erlanger officials seeking to be able to work out a payment schedule.
The answer, filed by attorney Stuart James, says Erlanger officials "obstinately refused" the Whitfield overtures.
It also states that Walker County opted not to appeal the status of the debt on to the U.S. Supreme Court after it was upheld by a federal appeals court.
The debt relates to a time period when Erlanger was managing Hutcheson Hospital, which later went into bankruptcy.
Former Commissioner Bebe Heiskell guaranteed a $10 million infusion into the hospital in Fort Oglethorpe.