City Hall

City Attorney Vows to Reduce Spending on Outside Counsel

By Erica C. Barnett July 5, 2010

City Attorney Pete Holmes says he's trying to reduce the amount that the city's Police Action Fund—a fund to defend against claims of  police misconduct—pays for "outside fees and expenses," i.e. private attorneys that are hired by the city.

Currently, according to an annual report from the city attorney's office, fully 72 cents of every dollar spent from the fund---one of two funds that pays for outside claims against the city---pays for outside counsel and other fees, with just 28 percent paying for actual damages and judgments.

"That is high," Holmes says. "There are all kind of interpretations of why it's so high, but we believe we can do it less expensively in house or more competitively with outside counsel." Currently, almost all police-misconduct claims are handled by outside attorneys.
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