In the last 18 months contract attorneys for the city on two cases alone have racked up over $157,000 in legal billing. This number is astounding partially by the fact that the dog park could be built and operated for more than a year, based on numbers provided by the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance (SDPA) at no cost to taxpayers above the money donated to citizens by the Red River Waterway Commission. The park can be maintained for far less than the legal expenses the mayor has accrued, and that would be for several years!
The dog park litigation has already cost, in payments alone that do not count outstanding bills, $24,781.50, And, the meter is obviously still running, even though the council was notified by city Attorney, Terri Scott, that the council had never approved. Council still has not voted to approve paying the law firm of Ronald Lattier to represent the city in this matter!
The Shreveport City Council has gone so far as to override the mayor’s veto on the resolution to accept the RRWC funds and build the park. And, the council made it known to the mayor that it was not approving the mayor’s fight against the SDPA, even though that court case is still open and under appeal.
The three law firms representing the city on the 3132 litigation against Willis Knighton Health System are defending the city, the mayor (individually), NLCOG and have already racked up $132,858,57 in charges. The winner in charges accumulated are hired basicly to protect the mayor from charges that he has violated the law in numerous ways. The firm representing the mayor in both cases is the Ronald Lattier Firm, which has accumulated $57,955.07 on the 3132 case alone and $82,736.57 of the total.
Citizens and the Shreveport City Council have expressed more than mild concern that the city has chosen to make negative decisions in terms of fostering expansion of the 3132 loop to LA Highway 1, as originally outlines in several master plans of the region. Additionally, the decision to not accept donated funds and build the dog park as planned now may fall to the Caddo Parish Commission, to allow the mayor out of his legal problems. The SDPA seems committed to construct the park as approved in the recent master plan, and the parish commission has made noises that they will assist with this effort.