Independence Examiner, Thursday 04/04/02

Counselors don't log time

by James Dornbrook
The Examiner

Legislators once again asked County Counselor Jane McQueeny to disclose how much time and money was spent defending members of the Office of Human Relations and Citizens Complaints. A judge found members of the OHRCC to have violated the state's open meetings/open records law.

McQueeny said she could not answer any questions regarding the case in public, because the case is still pending. The parties involved in the case are still awaiting a ruling on after-trial motions. The motions were filed by the plaintiffs in protest to the court's decision to not assess plaintiff costs to the defendants.

Legislator Bill Petrie, 2nd District at-Large, said he believed there was no need to discuss the cost of the case in closed session, because this should all be public information. He said he just wanted to know how much the county counselor's office has spent up to this point.

McQueeny then said the county has so far spent $600 in deposition costs.

Petrie asked how much time county counselors spent on the case and how much that has cost.

"As for how much time we spent on this trial, we don't keep track of our time like that," said McQueeny. She said county counselors are paid an annual rate, so they never keep track of how much time they spend on various cases, so there is no way to determine how much the labor costs were.

To reach James Dornbrook e-mail or call 350-6322.
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