East Ridge Still Getting Anderson Bills After $204,000 Charges In 2012

Thursday, January 10, 2013

East Ridge city officials said Thursday they are still getting bills from fired City Attorney John Anderson - after his charges for 2012 to the city of 21,000 totaled $204,000.

Vice Mayor Jim Bethune said a new bill came in earlier Thursday - for $18,000 for "litigation."

The vice mayor asked, "How long are we going to keep this up?"

He also questioned charges from a private court reporter at two recent East Ridge City Council meetings. He said the court reporter was ordered by the Anderson law firm and the $200 in charges from Hall & Associates billed to East Ridge.

City Manager Tim Gobble said he approved a $50 court reporter bill, but he did not know about the second $150 charge. He said he did so because it was at a time when former city recorder Janet Middleton was resuming taking notes at the meetings and he wanted to make sure the entire session was properly covered.

Officials said the $204,000 to attorney Anderson for the last calendar year included $22,500 for a payment related to his termination.

The new city attorney, Hal North, is working for a flat $7,500 per month. He said that includes litigation.

Attorney Anderson had separate charges to the city for litigation that were above his retainer - including a long-running and still unsettled lawsuit involving an extended-stay motel where police have answered numerous calls.

The city manager was asked if attorney Anderson is still handling certain legal matters involving East Ridge. Mr. Gobble said the state asked that he stay on to handle two property closings to avoid having to start over with a new attorney.

He also said he wants attorney Anderson to remain as his personal lawyer in a case in which he and the city of East Ridge were jointly sued.

City Manager Gobble was also questioned on why attorney Anderson is still being copied on certain emails from the city manager's office. Mr. Gobble said that relates to legal matters that attorney Anderson was previously involved in.



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