BRADENTON, Fla. - Jefferson County, Ala., commissioner Jim Carns said yesterday that the county should immediately file for bankruptcy to foreclose the possibility of a federal court-appointed receiver for the county's heavily indebted sewer system.

Carns, a Republican, issued a two-page statement critical of a special masters' report released Tuesday saying it "greatly disappoints me." The report recommended sewer rate increases, revenue enhancements, and other measures to deal with the sewer system's financial problems. Carns also criticized the federal court process in which the special masters were appointed and said their selection and performance has "occurred behind closed doors."

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