The city council must act

The city two weeks ago appropriated without a moment of debate $500,000 to be paid to the law firm Greenberg Traurig for legal fees generated relating to the Federal investigation now taking place here.

Officials speaking to the city council on that night when the $500,000 in fees was first revealed, told the council to expect another such invoice, and soon.

The impression was given that another $500,000 invoice may already be on the way or at the very least, will be here sooner rather than later.

Legal representation for Federal investigations is expensive.

If the investigation morphs into a case against the city and its public officials, the legal fees could likely double or triple.

At what point should residents expect a city councilor to call for a meeting to discuss this matter in depth?

Paula Steriti asked just that question.

She asked for a conflict of interest study to be done of the city’s decision to hire Greenberg Traurig, which is the mayor’s lawyer. Steriti complained the city council has nothing to offer, nothing to say, nothing to question about the case or the legal fees.

We find this, frankly, incomprehensible.

The city council should be asking questions about Greenberg

Traurig’s legal fees, but more importantly, should be asking questions about the tactics and strategies being employed by the law firm to chase the government away and to put this racism, dis- crimination and retaliation investigation to rest.

The city council must also question the mayor and the mayor’s personal attorney John Pappalardo, of the same Greenberg Traurig as to whether or not it is he, Pappalardo, who is leading the defense and whether or not his representation of the mayor has been lumped into the federal investigation billings.

Is Pappalardo representing both the mayor and the city?

Can one lawyer with the same firm work for two bosses with- out a conflict of interest clouding the representation and billing as well?

These are questions the city council must ask to be answered at a public meeting – and soon.

Certainly the city council should know what it is paying for before it writes another $500,000 check for legal services the mayor hired without consulting them.

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