Tallahassee Mayor Wants Legal Bill Reimbursed

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By: Andy Alcock
March 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee Mayor John Marks wants taxpayers to pay a more than $86,000 legal bill.

It comes from defending himself against recent ethics charges.

The mayor won that case.

Under a policy city commissioners passed in January, 2012, Marks is entitled to reimbursement because the case against him was dismissed.

Marks hired local attorney Barry Richard to defend him at a cost of more than $86,000.

However, city attorney Lew Shelley is recommending what he calls a reasonable reimbursement of a little over $55,000.

Shelley came to that conclusion based on reviewing the mayor's bill and checking what the average experienced attorney would hire to defend Marks.

If city commissioners approve that recommendation, it means the mayor would pay more than $30-thousand dollars out of his own pocket.

"There's no question Barry Richard is a very experienced, excellent lawyer," said Shelley. "He's tried cases all over the country and his hourly rate is very high, probably at the very top end of lawyers in Tallahassee," he said.

City Commissioners are scheduled to hear the reimbursement proposal Wednesday.

A spokesman says the Mayor isn't commenting due to the commission's pending decision.

He also says Marks won't vote on the measure due to the conflict of interest.

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