On Your Side: City spends thousands on legal fees without council approval

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Updated: 7/15/2014 10:35 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- As the City of Reno works to iron out its complicated budget issues, some members of the city council are questioning the skyrocketing legal fees involved.

News 4 has learned that more than $175,000 was spent on legal fees without prior approval of the City Council.

The council did approve $300,000 in legal fees for the law firm of Fisher and Phillips, which was hired to negotiate the city's union contracts. But when the City of Reno and the fire union ended up in court, those legal fees went up.

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger is authorized to approve projects up to $50,000 without council approval. But in this case, the city paid out an extra $175,000 to the firm without getting council approval.

It is what has some City Council members upset. "It comes down to accountability. I think we need to look at legal, at HR, but my question is, why do we even have a city council if staff is just going to go ahead and do whatever they want?" said Councilwoman Hillary Schieve.

"We are required to live within the limits of the contract," Clinger responded. "Because of the timing of the lawsuit in a short amount of time, we didn't do that. Services were rendered to Fisher and Phillips, we owe them the money. So at the end of the day, the council is in a position we don't want to put them in. They are in a position where they have to approve this contract."

This issue will be on the council's agenda for Wednesday, and council members are expected to have some tough questions for Clinger about whether the city is following the law by approving projects like this without prior council approval.
6 Comment(s)
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carsonview - 8/5/2014 11:08 AM
0 Votes
Carson City DA Neil Rombardo and Mark Krueger are doing the same thing http://nevadastatepersonnelwatch.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/without-board-of-supervisors-knowlege-carson-city-da-pays-thorndal-armstrong-delk-balkenbush-eisinger-to-defend-against-lawsuits-filed-by-ty-robben/

adimwoler - 7/23/2014 1:34 AM
0 Votes
my classmate's mom makes $69 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for seven months but last month her pay was $13777 just working on the laptop for a few hours. this page . ?????????www.jobsfish.com

Kramer - 7/16/2014 12:09 PM
0 Votes
big deal is off-topic. please 'repeal' your comment

fastd - 7/16/2014 10:50 AM
3 Votes
Isn't this the same as what happened at the RTC with the new bus terminal.Seems like this has more to do with a lack of competence with the city council managing the people under them then anything else.

citizen - 7/16/2014 8:35 AM
4 Votes
Andrew Clinger and Mayor Cashel need to be fired and arrested for knowingly and willfully breaking the law. They should also personally be held accountable, to pay back to the tax payers of Reno, the $175,00.00 they illegally spent without council approval.

bigdeal - 7/15/2014 5:23 PM
4 Votes
Isn't this what Obama does all the time. He has a pen and phone so he doesn't need Congress to approve anything.

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