Editor's Note

The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Settlement in Fla. case means taxpayers, not city officials, will likely foot legal bills

A settlement in the case against Venice, Fla., city officials, including the mayor, for using private e-mails to discuss plans for the municipal airport will result in the "city government as a whole" taking the blame, The Herald (Fla.) Tribune reported. No individuals will admit wrongdoing, and therefore they will not be responsible for legal bills. Taxpayers likely will pay the 10 months of mounting legal fees for both sides. The City Council is slated to vote on the settlement Wednesday; however, only one city council member is not involved in this case in any fashion, creating a major conflict of interest.
On the eve of a groundbreaking open government trial involving top Venice leaders, attorneys for both sides reached a tentative deal Thursday to settle the case without the officials admitting wrongdoing.

Instead, the settlement pins the blame on the city government as a whole.

The arrangement creates a potential conflict of interest and could force taxpayers to cover the legal fees for both sides, which could top $1 million.

More here.

No comments: