Tuesday, April 26, 2011
And more money WE have to pay
W-B firehouse activist’s rep seeks legal fees from city
Attorney wants $240K in compensation in Carey’s successful suit vs. the city.
By Terrie Morgan-Besecker firstname.lastname@example.org
Law & Order Reporter
SCRANTON – The attorney for city firehouse activist Denise Carey has filed court papers seeking more than $240,000 in legal fees and other costs associated with Carey’s successful suit against Wilkes-Barre City.
Attorney Cynthia Pollick of Pittston filed a legal brief Monday supporting her request for compensation in connection with Carey’s six-year battle with the city.
A federal jury awarded Carey, of Wilkes-Barre, $67,000 in compensatory and punitive damages following a trial in November 2008 for violations of her First Amendment right to free speech.
The panel determined Mayor Tom Leighton retaliated against Carey by seeking $11,000 in attorneys fees the city incurred in fighting a petition Carey circulated that opposed the closure of a fire station in the Heights section of the city. The jury rejected her claim for damages for defamation, however.
The city appealed the ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the verdict in February.
Under federal law, attorneys who represent plaintiffs in civil rights cases can seek compensation for each hour they worked on the case. The fees are in addition to any monetary award to the plaintiff.
In Carey’s case, Pollick initially sought $222,821 in attorney fees and costs following the trial based on a rate of $300 per hour. Those fees and costs increased by $17,492 for hours spent fighting the city’s appeal, for a total of $240,313, Pollick says in court records.
Attorneys for the city filed court documents in opposition to the fee request, arguing the hourly rate is excessive. They also contend the fees should be reduced because Carey did not prevail on each count of the suit.
U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo will review the court filings and issue a ruling at a later date.
If there was true justice in this city, Leighton would have to pay this himself. But instead the city (meaning we the taxpayers) have to foot the bill for his violating Denise Careys Constitutional Rights. Oh and add to that the money the city (We the tax payers) have to pay for his defense lawyers.
1. Backroom deals (like the no bid contract to disgraced ex-judge Conahan's medic unit)
2. Trying to sell city property for 8 cents on the dollar to a campaign contributor
3. Lying to county officials to get tax forgiveness to a campaign contributor
4. The largely worthless camera system (Costing us well over $2,000,000)
5. Violated contracts (like Citywide Towing's contract) so he could give it to a campaign contributor (that cost us over $225,000)
6. VIOLATED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, TWICE !!! (Denise Carey & the Hammonds). That's going to cost us over $275,000.
7. The Threats (I've been on the receiving end of some, Why? Because I dare oppose him.)
If you treat citizens as enemy combatants, eventually they will be.
If Leighton has his way the FD motto will change to "When Seconds count, The Engines are only Minutes away."
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote