County passes budget, remains mum on attorney's fate

Thu, 06/28/2007 - 8:28pm
By: John Thompson

The Fayette County Commission Thursday night approved its $51 million general fund budget. While the budget passed, there was little mention of the fate of county attorney Bill McNally. Commissioner Eric Maxwell was out of town for the meeting, and one commissioner said the idea will be discussed at another commission meeting this summer when Maxwell is present..

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tortugaocho's picture
Submitted by tortugaocho on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 12:16pm.

Maxwell missing a meeting is no big deal. He had done more in six months than anyone else on the Commission. Now Pfeiffer is sucking up to the County Attorney, apparently trying to do anything to keep his job. He sounds like Jim Carey in the movie "Dumb and Dumber" when he asks the girl if there is any way she would go for a guy like him. Her answer: "Yeah, one in a billion." As usual, Peter has a verbose letter with no substance and no proposal.

I say give Maxwell a chance. He's doing something.

Submitted by lawaboveall on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 12:33pm.

I agree, missing a meeting is no biggie. However, I do not see the "done more in six months than anyone on the commission" stuff.

Would you like to cite some examples? Getting rid of a extremely effective county manager in favor of one of his supporters? (who promptly engineered a $200k increase in his own budget and $3.4 Million more in capital projects for his function at the expense of other more necessary projects)?
Working on a budget that gave everyone in the county a tax increase?
Adding 26 more bodies to the public payroll? Eliminating public safety at a county park? Eliminating the county marshals...oh bad...Randall told him to stuff that idea, or did you not know that?
Oh I know...he did engineer the dropping of the lawsuits against the sheriff, that is one good thing....for Randall Johnson, not the county. Did I miss anything?

I read the letter from Pfieffer as well. Although he could be more succint the title to the letter says it all. That was all the substance needed.

Maxwell is having his chance. I only hope the county can survive the chances he is getting.

tortugaocho's picture
Submitted by tortugaocho on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 1:02pm.

Lawaboveall---- you spout all the statistics; you defend the county attorneys to the death; you spout legal stuff; you trash on Randall.

Are you a lawyer working there?

Very interesting.....We spend millions on this McNally and never take bids. Even if it is correct that an inhouse attorney is not cost effective, it is laughable to then say "OK, we just use an outside lawyer, not check his bills and not get competitive bids."

Again, are you a lawyer with a job at stake? Why NEVER have bids?

Submitted by lawaboveall on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 1:06pm.

Let me say first of all that I am not a lawyer at all much less one in the employe of McNally Fox. That being said let me respond to your hyperbole. (look it up)

"We spend millions on this McNally and never take bids".

The choice to take bids or not for over 25 YEARS has been the conscious choice of several successive boards of commissioners.
I guess they figured, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That is to say that all of these different sets of elected officials have relied on the advice from this firm and the firm has proven to provide consistent quality advice that is DEFENDABLE in court with some admittedly notable exceptions. The recent unpleasantness with Randall
was not spearheaded by McNally, but I am sure he provided advice as to the PROPER way to proceed. No county attorney has an unblemished record in court. However, even a cursory examination of the record supports the fact that McNally Fox has provided high quality representation for all these years.

My issue is not with McNally, but rather with the way this whole thing is being done. No data on which to make a decision, not attempt to find out what it WILL cost. That is the problem here.

Lastly, who said the bills were not checked? You know this to be true or is that more of your assumptions.

I never said not to bid. Bidding is long is it is legal and above board....which I doubt it will be judging from those making the decision.

Submitted by swmbo on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 10:27pm.

Lawaboveall isn't entirely wrong in his/her post. Some of the budget stuff was outright political patronage and croneyism at its worst.

That being said, I have to question the wisdom of summarily getting rid of 20+ years of legal experience. The loss of institutional knowledge will be stupefying. However, if they want to bid it out, that's fine; a little competition is good for the taxpayers . . . as long as the commissioners don't rig the bid the way they did the Kenwood Park Phase I contract. First, bidders were told to bid on construction of the project with an equipment building included. Then, after bids were received, they eliminated the equipment building and changed how they were going to evaluate bids to steer the work to a contractor who was not the lowest bidder. (FYI, people do prison time for stuff like that; just ask Bill Campbell's friends.)

Given their past behavior, I expect that they will rig any bid for county legal services to go to some political croney and the taxpayers will end up funding incompetence. We just have to hope that the incompetent won't also cost us a ton of money in otherwise-preventable lawsuits.

If you and I are always in agreement, one of us is likely armed and dangerous.

Submitted by tonto707 on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 3:12pm.

law above all, aka Janet Dunn, is no lawyer at all, just a parrot. And an ignorant parrot too, I might add.

Submitted by lawaboveall on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 5:25pm.

Every time someone logs on here to support a reasonable argument and you disagree, it has to be poor old Janet Dunn. You have no clue as to who I might be and never will. I present facts supported by reasonable information and all you can say is... ignorant parrot? That is so weak it is beyond comprehension. That all you got?

Why not just say something really mean like..yo momma, or fiddlesticks or some other equally mature response.

Calling some one ignorant because you are incapable of a counter argument is so typical of the weak of mind.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 1:36pm.

I have never seen a bid sheet for a lawyer to fill out who is applying for a right to represent the city.
I would suspect it says: I will charge (X$) per billable hour for my services.
I would suspect that the low bidder for the position is just as likely not to get the job as any one applying.
It all depends upon what the "deciders" know and like about each lawyer. After all, how does anyone know just how many billable hours there will be? I'm sure the bidders did make an attachment indicating how they would bill hours, but it will never say how many!
The only way you can have a fixed cost for lawyers is to hire one or more and forbid them to hire helpers as contractors.
Now, a municipality can not go without lawyers. Here is why: Your lawyer and the "Other" lawyer he is contesting will get together and actually see what is acceptable to each. That will be proposed and usually carries.
If you do not have a lawyer, well then?????? Lawyers do make all of the laws!

Submitted by loanarranger707 on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 2:55pm.

The first and foremost requirement of any job is showing up for work. Elected officials who can't show up for work shouldn't run for office, and they shouldn't be allowed to serve.

With the technology available today, officials who absolutely need to be physically away can always make arrangements to attend by teleconferencing. It probably ought to be at their own expense, but they perhaps could be allowed two freebees a year.

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