Search This Blog

Use the SEARCH BOX above to explore South Euclid Oversight.
- OR -
Utilize the INDEX BY SUBJECT located on this page. (below, right)
- OR -
Access the BLOG ARCHIVE at the bottom of this page to view all previous
SEOversight posts in chronological order.



~~TO VIEW DOCUMENTS ON SEOVERSIGHT~~
Please RIGHT CLICK on DOCUMENT then LEFT CLICK on "OPEN LINK".



THANK YOU FOR READING SOUTH EUCLID OVERSIGHT.

DONT BE FOOLED BY THE THREAT OF SAFETY FORCE LAYOFFS WHILE THE ADMINISTRATION INCREASES IN SIZE AND SALARIES. PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR INFORMATION ON THE LAND AQUISITION TAX SCHEME, ALSO KNOWN AS ISSUE 65 - SAFETY LEVY:

PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO VIEW 2015 TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE FOR ALL CITY OF SOUTH EUCLID EMPLOYEES.





Friday, November 30, 2007

Disgraceful Legal Fees

The exhibit below represents legal fees paid by the City of South Euclid for the first 10 months only of the year 2007. The information was provided by the city in response to a public information request. Please note that South Euclid Oversight interprets the information provided. Indecipherable or unverifiable expenditures have been EXCLUDED to err in favor of the city. The calculated totals shown are most likely TOO LOW.
  • According to the calculations, the total amount spent on legal fees for the Law Director (including the base salary) and "outside" or contractual legal counsel for this administration's first term in office, January 2004-October 2007 = $728,107.53

  • Of that total, the amount paid to the Law Director for the same period of time was at least $474,365.30 including his "PART-TIME" base salary as noted in the exhibit, but excluding benefits.

Please click on the link below to view the summary of legal fees for 2004, 2005 and 2006:

http://southeuclidoversight.blogspot.com/2007/03/south-euclid-legal-fees_13.html

Please click on document to view full size.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify the numbers here a bit? In your summary you state Jan - Oct totals of $728,107.53, but in the breakdown I only see $161,997.04.

Then I see total fees for 2004 - 2007 being $474,366.30. Personally, for a 3 -4 year period I would consider that a pretty good deal. If you do the math, figuring ~ $250/hr. billable rate for good attorneys that means the city received 1,897 hours worth of legal work in the 2004-2007 timeframe. That equates to 79 days worth of work in a 3 -4 year span. Out of 1,095 days in three years we spent the equivalent of 79 on legal time. Seems like a pretty good ratio to me.

What I would be upset about is not having a breakdown from the city for what those fees were specifically spent on.

SOUTH EUCLID OVERSIGHT said...

Thank you for your interest. We value your opinion and input.


Regarding your first question, you read the information incorrectly. The post states that the total of $728,107.53 was for the timeframe of January 2004 thru October 2007. The breakdown that you are referring to ($161,997.04) is clearly marked to denote the year 2007 only. In fact, as previously stated, because the information provided was only for January 2007 thru October 2007, our figures are too low. November and December 2007 totals have not been obtained.

As for your second question, unfortunately you have misunderstood that information as well. Our apologies if we were not clear. The amount of $161,997.04 reflects all ADDITIONAL legal fees paid by the city BEYOND the base salary of the law director for 2007 only—that amount does NOT include the base salary that the Law Director automatically receives. Keep in mind that the previous amount actually reflects only the first 10 months of the year (Jan-Oct 2007) so the amounts shown are actually too LOW. The total fees for January 2004 – October 2007 of $474,366.30 were for the city Law Director only. That amount did not include the ADDITTIONAL legal services paid for “outside” or contractual legal fees charged by lawyers OTHER than the Law Director employed by the city. That is where the number $728,107.53 comes from. So - in addition to the total paid to the Law Director ($474,366.30), there was ANOTHER expenditure of approximately $253,741.23 paid to other lawyers. Meanwhile, the city paid at least a half million dollars (by the time benefits are added in) to their “PART TIME” Law Director during the current administration’s first term in office, 2004-2007.

The important thing to remember is that our calculations are most absolutely not correct because they are TOO LOW. We have erred in favor of the city in an effort to be fair and not portray the amounts as higher in the cases where we could not decipher or interpret their notations. However, you have brought up a good point. Perhaps we will have our researchers request the totals for the legal expenditures to be provided by the City as specific and exact dollar amounts BY CATEGORY so there will not be any ambiguity.

We applaud your attentiveness and encourage you and everyone to exercise your right to request public information from the City. We will prepare an instructional post regarding Public Information requests for those unfamiliar with the process. We feel it is important for citizens to actively monitor their local, state and federal government activities.

Thank you again for your participation and sparking a good idea!

Blog Archive