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$50,000 requested for added legal expenses for Lake Havasu City

January 7, 2019

They say you can’t fight City Hall, but according to the Lake Havasu City Attorney’s Office some additional funding will be needed if the city’s going to keep on fighting.

The city is insured against most claims and litigation, but such coverage isn’t always available. According to the city attorney’s office, as much as $50,000 in additional funding may be required from the Lake Havasu City General Fund Contingency account to cover contracted legal services.

According to Garry’s proposal, a “higher-than-usual” need for contracted legal services last year has created the dilemma, exceeding the amount budgeted for such expenditures.

“The city’s budget for outside legal services is $85,000,” Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson explained. “Due to an unsubstantiated lawsuit from (the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) regarding access to private wells on city property, there is a need to identify additional funds for outside legal counsel to ensure the city is properly protected through the fiscal year.”

According to Knudson, Havasu was ultimately dropped from ADEQ’s lawsuit, but not before the city spent about $60,000 in attorney’s fees.

“The city should never have been included in the litigation, and we are in the process of recovering the attorney fees,” Knudson said. “This was the only significant expense for outside legal counsel for the city this year.”

City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to grant those funds to the city attorney’s office.

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