Legal Services Committee – What Happened?

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By Dave Freneaux

    There is much chatter around Central as to who did what and why regarding the Mayor's Committee on Legal Services chaired by Council Member LoBue.  The following information is offered as a simple summary of the events.  On Monday, April 11, Council Member LoBue handed unredacted legal bills to the six citizens in attendance at the meeting.  There were items in the billing records that the City Council had previously voted to retain as confidential due to potential or pending litigation.  LoBue was able to retrieve all of the originals of these doicuments from the committee members by the following day.  LoBue's action against the vote of the City Council and against the advice of the City Attorney prompted Mayor Watts to ask LoBue to resign as chairman of the committee.  LoBue has not, as of April 20th, responded to the Mayor's request.  However, LoBue did cancel the next scheduled meeting of the committee, which was to be earlier this week.

    The committee was formed by the Mayor for the purpose of gathering research on options for the provision of legal services to the City of Central.  The Mayor has formally suspended any further meeting of the committee until the legal issues raised over this event are settled.  Mayor Watts listed his reasons for requesting Mr. LoBue to step down, which included going against the specific vote of the City Council and City Attorney, and ignoring the disclaimer printed on every page of every legal bill stating that the documents can not be released without Client permission.  The Client, in this case, is the City of Central.  Council Member Louis DeJohn had previously weighed in on the matter by emailing a letter to the Mayor and LoBue encouraging the Mayor to request LoBue's removal from the committe.

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