The Hamilton County School system has paid over $2.2 million to a California law firm handling an autism case that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Payments are now at $2,208,987.39 to the Charles Weatherly firm.
The U.S. Supreme Court in October 2005 declined to hear the appeal filed by the Hamilton County Schools of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court’s decision in the Zachary Deal case.
The case was then sent back to Federal Judge R. Allan Edgar. He again ruled in favor of the county schools in April of 2006.
Appeals have continued in the case, and the Weatherly firm has been paid $65,717.85 this year by the county schools on the case.
The total Weatherly bill includes:
Legal Expenses $1,575,193.07
Expert Witness Fees $574,637.70
Court Reporting $2,733.06
County School Board member Rhonda Thurman, who requested a review of the legal expenses, said, "We have got to cut out this out-of-town attorney and turn it over to our local attorney.
"We can't keep paying all these fees and travel expenses."
She said of the longstanding case, "There has to be an end to it at some point."