Some computer equipment won't be on the sales block this week when Berkeley County auctions off property it seized from American LaFrance.
Bidders can inspect the American LaFrance equipment Tuesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at 164 Spring Grove Dr. in Moncks Corner. The auction starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
A federal judge on Monday ordered the failed vehicle manufacturer to remove and preserve servers, hard drives and other electronic storage devices that could contain information that's relevant to a lawsuit the company is facing.
American LaFrance was told to remove the items from its former Moncks Corner plant immediately, according to the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel. His order followed a hearing held by telephone Friday.
E. Brandon Gaskins, an attorney for American LaFrance, said in a filing that the equipment was removed Monday and was in the company's possession.
The equipment was supposed to be part of a public auction scheduled for Wednesday at the plant at 164 Spring Grove Drive, off Cypress Gardens Road.
Officials seized numerous pieces of business and personal property from the fire-engine maker after it abruptly shut down earlier this year. The county hopes the sale will help it recoup more than $650,000 American LaFrance owes in tax-related fees.
A brochure from Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers shows that the equipment being sold includes heavy-duty overhead cranes, lift trucks, air compressors, laser cutters and welding machines.
Two of the company's former Moncks Corner workers requested last week that computer equipment be pulled from the auction to preserve potential legal evidence and to ensure any personal information stored on the devices isn't sold.
Their lawyers said in a court filing that the county was planning to sell "12-14 pallets of desktop computers, laptops, hard drives, and servers" at the auction.
The terminated employees are taking American LaFrance to court over allegations the company violated federal labor law by not providing proper notice about its shutdown in mid-January.
The complaint cites the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires most companies with 100 or more employees to provide written warnings at least 60 calendar days before a factory closing or mass layoffs. The Moncks Corner plant had about 150 workers when it closed in January.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.