Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 28, 2013

More than $24,000 needed for city’s lawyers in lawsuit

Plaintiff’s attorney not yet sure about appeal.

LOGANSPORT — Lawyers’ fees for the recently dismissed lawsuit filed against Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin and City Council have amounted to more than $24,000 for the city to date, according to invoices filed by the attorneys representing the city.

Logansport citizen Julie Kitchell, represented by local attorney Jim Brugh, filed the suit in March claiming the city engaged in the process of developing a public-private agreement with Pyrolyzer, LLC to develop a new power plant before adopting an ordinance authorizing it to do so. Lawyers representing Franklin and city council responded to the suit by citing a provision in Indiana Code allowing for the ratification of previous actions. This provision was among Cass County Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer’s reasons for dismissing the case earlier this month, according to court records.

City council’s finance committee has decided to recommend taking the money to pay for the attorneys’ fees out of the city’s rainy day fund. Teresa Popejoy, the committee’s chairwoman, said the fund currently has about $900,000.

City Council will vote on the appropriation at its meeting May 6.

Indianapolis-based attorney John Molitor represented city council in the case. According to his invoice, he put 29 hours into the case for a total of $5,075.

Attorneys Kimberly Blanchet and Mark Crandley of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, also out of Indianapolis, represented Franklin. The pair spent about 50 hours on the case for a total of $19,160, according to their invoice.

The invoices describe tasks like reviewing case law cited in the suit and subsequent court documents filed by Brugh, drafting motions and responses and meeting with each other and clients to discuss strategy.

Both attorneys’ invoices include services rendered through April 15. Should Kitchell appeal, further payment will be necessary.

“I’m taking a wait-and-see approach,” Brugh said on whether there are plans to appeal.

Attorneys representing the city are calling the case frivolous and in bad faith. If Maughmer rules in their favor, Kitchell will have to reimburse the city for its legal fees. A hearing has been scheduled for June 11 to discuss this matter.

Concerns have been raised as to why outside legal assistance was acquired to defend the city rather than Logansport City Attorney Randy Head, who is also a state senator and practicing lawyer.

Franklin said he and the council decided to go with Blanchet, Crandley and Molitor because of their involvement with the power plant project. Blanchet, who works with Crandley at Barnes & Thornburg, is assisting the city in current negotiations between the city and Pyrolyzer. Molitor has worked as special counsel for the city throughout the project.

“I view this whole attempt at stopping our process as nothing more than a political move,” Franklin said. “These people started a war with a slingshot. If a slingshot is their weapon of choice, I’m going to do everything necessary to protect the city of Logansport’s interests as well as our partners’ in this venture.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

 

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 18, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041814 LC50 cords.jpg 50 years later WALTON -- Dean "D.A." Zehring graduated from the current Lewis Cass High School, but he never attended classes there. It's one of the unique characteristics of the graduating class of 1968, the first class to complete all four years of high school un

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Caston considers Logan bus stop FULTON -- Caston Schools administrators are considering establishing a bus stop a few miles outside its boundaries on the north side of Logansport. The school board recently discussed the feasibility of adding a bus stop for students transferring fro

    April 18, 2014

  • mushroom Parks let mushroom hunters forage off-trail INDIANAPOLIS - Rain that pounded Brown County State Park in early April dampened the number of hikers and mountain bikers in Indiana's largest state park, but foragers of the property's 15,000 acres of forest welcomed the weather. With the arrival o

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 17, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 G.jpg Sign of support: Class meant to connect hearing-impaired family members Jordanna Dishner-Rush gestured forcefully to a coat rack hanging in the back of the meeting room at the Logansport Library. She was trying to use just hand motions — no speech — to get the other women to guess the secret word she'd been given. Dishne

    April 17, 2014 12 Photos

  • Logansport graduation rate rises again Logansport High School's graduation rate jumped almost 2 percentage points to 92.9 percent in 2013, data released Wednesday show. The Indiana Department of Education released graduation data for the 2012-2013 school year Wednesday. The data show that

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 Mustangs.jpg Local dealer celebrates the Mustang Fifty years ago today, the Ford Mustang was introduced to the public at the New York World's Fair. Now, six of them will be on display for the next few weeks at Rick's Auto Sales in Logansport celebrating what the business owner says is a half centur

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redevelopment commission proposes new TIF expansion The Logansport Redevelopment Commission is now considering including land surrounding Water Street in a proposed consolidation of the city's tax increment financing districts. A tax increment financing, or TIF, district, captures the increments of an

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition