Legal Costs Hard to Estimate for Louisiana City

December 28, 2011

Each year the Louisiana city of Monroe sets aside money for its various departments’ operations and spending needs, and for the most part, it knows how much to set aside based upon the revenues it expects to collect.

When it comes to legal costs though, Department of Administration director David Barnes tells The News-Star, the city’s dealing with a wild card due to unforeseen costs associated with settlements and legal services that are handled out-of-house.

Since fiscal 2007, the city has spent a total $1.4 million on outside legal services and settlements, of which about half is for settlements excluding the city firefighters’ union lawsuit.

City attorney Nanci Summersgill estimated costs for outside legal services since 2000 have totaled about $600,000.

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