And without a contract!
By Josh Resnek
The city’s tab for legal services from the law firm Mintz Levin has akyrocketed to over $870,000 and is growing everyday and will shortly reach $1 million, according to reliable sources at Everett City Hall.
The Leader Herald has learned that a special transfer of $600,000 is being made this week into the City Treasury so the Purchasing agent can cut checks to the Boston legal firm Mintz Levin for soaring invoices it has sent to the city for payment.
The Leader Herald reported at the beginning of February that the city paid more than $400,000 to Mintz Levin for legal fees associated with the law suit the city has taken against Exelon, the energy giant, to force them to pay more in taxes.
The actual figure paid to Mintz Levin was larger than what was officially reported in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the Leader Herald for all the invoices which were received on February 7 from Everett City Solicitor Colleen Mejia.
The city produced invoices totaling $400,000 through December.
However, the invoice for January was not provided. February has passed accruing another invoice.
Those invoices were expected to be in the $100,000 range together as the city has been paying the law firm about $50,000 a month.
Exelon has paid $15 million a year in property taxes to Everett City Hall for the past decade.
The law suit filed by the city against Exelon contends that Exelon owes much more in taxes to the city because the value of its sprawling property along the Everett waterfront is worth much more than what it was worth when the city negotiated the TIF contract 20 years ago.
Exelon is the city’s largest single taxpayer until the casino opens its doors.
Former Governor William Weld is leading the bevvy of lawyers at Mintz Levin believed to be piling up rich hourly fees to prepare the case for the city which is shortly coming up.
A state law exempts a written contract between a municipality and the law firm it is paying, however many municipalities place caps on outside legal expenses.
Not Everett, Mintz Levin represents not only the city of Everett but Wynn Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel as well.